Abrupt climate change: Debate or action

Hai Cheng

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Global abrupt climate changes have been documented by various climate records, including ice cores, ocean sediment cores, lake sediment cores, cave deposits, loess deposits and pollen records. The climate system prefers to be in one of two stable states, i.e. interstadial or stadial conditions, but not in between. The transition between two states has an abrupt character. Abrupt climate changes are, in general, synchronous in the northern hemisphere and tropical regions. The timescale for abrupt climate changes can be as short as a decade. As the impacts may be potentially serious, we need to take actions such as reducing CO2 emissions to the atmosphere.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1997-2002
Number of pages6
JournalChinese Science Bulletin
Issue number18
StatePublished - 2004

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Acknowledgements I thank Wallace S. Broecker for his encouragements and wonderful contributions, R. Lawrence Edwards for helpful discussion, Megan Kelly and Carolyn Dykoski for much help. This work was supported by the US NSF (Grant No. ESH0214041), the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant No. 40328005), and the Comer Science and Education Foundation (Grant No.8).


  • Abrupt climate change
  • Climate record
  • Impact
  • Reducing CO
  • Timescale


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