A paleoclimate model of ice-albedo feedback forced by variations in Earth's orbit

Richard McGehee, Clarence Lehman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations

Abstract

Earth undergoes long-term temperature cycles alternating between glacial and interglacial episodes. It is widely accepted that changes in Earth's orbit and rotation axis cause variations in solar input which drive the glacial cycles. However, classic papers have clearly established that the response of Earth's climate system to orbital forcing is not a simple linear phenomenon and must include nonlinear feedback mechanisms. One of these mechanisms is ice-albedo feedback, which can be modeled as a dynamical system. When combined with the cycles in the orbital elements and compared with the climate data, the model confirms that ice-albedo feedback is an important component of Earth's climate.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)684-707
Number of pages24
JournalSIAM Journal on Applied Dynamical Systems
Volume11
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - 2012

Keywords

  • Dynamical systems
  • Ice-albedo feedback
  • Milankovitch cycles
  • Paleoclimate

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