Milankovitch cycles describe the collective effects of changes in the
Earth's movements on its climate over thousands of years. The term is
named for Serbian geophysicist and astronomer Milutin Milanković. In
the 1920s, he hypothesized that variations in eccentricity, axial
tilt, and precession of the
Earth's orbit resulted in cyclical
variation in the solar radiation reaching the Earth, and that this
orbital forcing strongly influenced climatic patterns on Earth.
Similar astronomical hypotheses had been advanced in the 19th century
by Joseph Adhemar,
James Croll and others, but verification was
difficult because there was no reliably dated evidence, and because it
was unclear which periods were important.
Now, materials on
Earth that have been unchanged for millennia are
being studied to indicate the history of Earth's climate. Though they
are consistent with the Milankovitch hypothesis, there are still
several observations that the hypothesis does not explain.
1 Earth's movements
1.1 Orbital shape (eccentricity)
1.1.1 Effect on temperature
1.1.2 Effect on lengths of seasons
Axial tilt (obliquity)
1.3 Axial precession
1.4 Apsidal precession
1.5 Orbital inclination
2.1 100,000-year problem
2.2 Transition problem
2.3 Unsplit peak problem
2.4 Stage 5 problem
2.5 Effect exceeds cause
3 Present and future conditions
4 Effects beyond Earth
4.2 Outer planets
6 Further reading
7 External links
The Earth's rotation around its axis, and revolution around the Sun,
evolve over time due to gravitational interactions with other bodies
in the solar system. The variations are complex, but a few cycles are
Earth's orbit varies between nearly circular and mildly elliptical
(its eccentricity varies). When the orbit is more elongated, there is
more variation in the distance between the
Earth and the Sun, and in
the amount of solar radiation, at different times in the year. In
addition, the rotational tilt of the
Earth (its obliquity) changes
slightly. A greater tilt makes the seasons more extreme. Finally, the
direction in the fixed stars pointed to by the Earth's axis changes
(axial precession), while the Earth's elliptical orbit around the Sun
rotates (apsidal precession). The combined effect is that proximity to
Sun occurs during different astronomical seasons.
Milankovitch studied changes in these movements of the Earth, which
alter the amount and location of solar radiation reaching the Earth.
This is known as solar forcing (an example of radiative forcing).
Milankovitch emphasized the changes experienced at 65° north due to
the great amount of land at that latitude. Land masses change
temperature more quickly than oceans, because of the mixing of surface
and deep water and the fact that soil has a lower volumetric heat
capacity than water.
Orbital shape (eccentricity)
Main article: Orbital eccentricity
Circular orbit, no eccentricity
Orbit with 0.5 eccentricity;
Earth's orbit is never this eccentric
Earth's orbit approximates an ellipse. Eccentricity measures the
departure of this ellipse from circularity. The shape of the Earth's
orbit varies between nearly circular (with the lowest eccentricity of
0.000055) and mildly elliptical (highest eccentricity of 0.0679)
Its geometric or logarithmic mean is 0.0019. The major component of
these variations occurs with a period of 413,000 years (eccentricity
variation of ±0.012). Other components have 95,000-year and
125,000-year cycles (with a beat period of 400,000 years). They
loosely combine into a 100,000-year cycle (variation of −0.03 to
+0.02). The present eccentricity is 0.017 and decreasing.
Eccentricity varies primarily due to the gravitational pull of Jupiter
and Saturn. However, the semi-major axis of the orbital ellipse
remains unchanged; according to perturbation theory, which computes
the evolution of the orbit, the semi-major axis is invariant. The
orbital period (the length of a sidereal year) is also invariant,
because according to Kepler's third law, it is determined by the
Effect on temperature
The semi-major axis is a constant. Therefore, when Earth's orbit
becomes more eccentric, the semi-minor axis shortens. This increases
the magnitude of seasonal changes.
The relative increase in solar irradiation at closest approach to the
Sun (perihelion) compared to the irradiation at the furthest distance
(aphelion) is slightly larger than four times the eccentricity. For
Earth's current orbital eccentricity, incoming solar radiation varies
by about 6.8%, while the distance from the
Sun currently varies by
only 3.4% (5.1 million km). Perihelion presently occurs
around January 3, while aphelion is around July 4. When the orbit is
at its most eccentric, the amount of solar radiation at perihelion
will be about 23% more than at aphelion. However, the Earth's
eccentricity is always so small that the variation in solar
irradiation is a minor factor in seasonal climate variation, compared
to axial tilt and even compared to the relative ease of heating the
larger land masses of the northern hemisphere.
Effect on lengths of seasons
21 December 2005 18:35
20 March 2006 18:26
21 June 2006 12:26
23 September 2006 4:03
22 December 2006 0:22
21 March 2007 0:07
21 June 2007 18:06
23 September 2007 9:51
22 December 2007 06:08
The seasons are quadrants of the Earth's orbit, marked by the two
solstices and the two equinoxes. Kepler's second law states that a
body in orbit traces equal areas over equal times; its orbital
velocity is highest around perihelion and lowest around aphelion. The
Earth spends less time near perihelion and more time near aphelion.
This means that the lengths of the seasons vary.
Perihelion currently occurs around January 3, so the Earth's greater
velocity shortens winter and autumn in the northern hemisphere. Summer
in the northern hemisphere is 4.66 days longer than winter, and spring
is 2.9 days longer than autumn.
Greater eccentricity increases the variation in the Earth's orbital
velocity. However, currently, the
Earth's orbit is becoming less
eccentric (more nearly circular). This will make the seasons more
similar in length.
Axial tilt (obliquity)
Main article: Axial tilt
22.1–24.5° range of Earth's obliquity
The angle of the Earth's axial tilt with respect to the orbital plane
(the obliquity of the ecliptic) varies between 22.1° and 24.5°, over
a cycle of about 41,000 years. The current tilt is 23.44°, roughly
halfway between its extreme values. The tilt last reached its maximum
in 8,700 BCE. It is now in the decreasing phase of its cycle, and will
reach its minimum around the year 11,800 CE.
Increased tilt increases the amplitude of the seasonal cycle in
insolation, providing more solar radiation in each hemisphere's summer
and less in winter. However, these effects are not uniform everywhere
on the Earth's surface. Increased tilt increases the total annual
solar radiation at higher latitudes, and decreases the total closer to
The current trend of decreasing tilt, by itself, will promote milder
seasons (warmer winters and colder summers), as well as an overall
cooling trend. Because most of the planet's snow and ice lies at high
latitude, decreasing tilt may encourage the onset of an ice age for
two reasons: There is less overall summer insolation, and also less
insolation at higher latitudes, which melts less of the previous
winter's snow and ice.
Main article: Axial precession
Axial precession is the trend in the direction of the Earth's axis of
rotation relative to the fixed stars, with a period of 25,771.5 years.
This motion means that eventually Polaris will no longer be the north
pole star. It is caused by the tidal forces exerted by the
Sun and the
Moon on the solid Earth; both contribute roughly equally to this
Currently, perihelion occurs during the southern hemisphere's summer.
This means that solar radiation due to (1) axial tilt aiming the
southern hemisphere toward the
Sun and (2) the Earth's proximity to
the Sun, both reach maximum during the summer and both reach minimum
during the winter. Their effects on heating are additive, which means
that seasonal variation in irradiation of the southern hemisphere is
more extreme. In the northern hemisphere, these two factors reach
maximum at opposite times of the year: The north is tilted toward the
Sun when the
Earth is furthest from the Sun. The two forces work in
opposite directions, resulting in less extreme variation.
In about 13,000 years, the north pole will be tilted toward the Sun
Earth is at perihelion.
Axial tilt and orbital eccentricity
will both contribute their maximum increase in solar radiation during
the northern hemisphere's summer.
Axial precession will promote more
extreme variation in irradiation of the northern hemisphere and less
extreme variation in the south.
When the Earth's axis is aligned such that aphelion and perihelion
occur near the equinoxes, axial tilt will not be aligned with or
Main article: Apsidal precession
Planets orbiting the
Sun follow elliptical (oval) orbits that rotate
gradually over time (apsidal precession). The eccentricity of this
ellipse, as well as the rate of precession, is exaggerated for
visualization. Most orbits in the
Solar System have a much smaller
eccentricity, making them nearly circular.
In addition, the orbital ellipse itself precesses in space, in an
irregular fashion, completing a full cycle every 112,000 years
relative to the fixed stars.
Apsidal precession occurs in the plane
of the ecliptic and alters the orientation of the Earth's orbit
relative to the ecliptic. This happens primarily as a result of
Jupiter and Saturn. Smaller contributions are also
made by the sun's oblateness and by the effects of general relativity
that are well known for Mercury.
Apsidal precession combines with the 25,771.5-year cycle of axial
precession (see above) to vary the position in the year that the Earth
Apsidal precession shortens this period to 23,000
years on average (varying between 20,800 and 29,000 years).
Effects of precession on the seasons (using the Northern Hemisphere
As the orientation of
Earth's orbit changes, each season will
gradually start earlier in the year.
Precession means the Earth's
nonuniform motion (see above) will affect different seasons. Winter,
for instance, will be in a different section of the orbit. When the
Earth's apsides are aligned with the equinoxes, the length of spring
and summer combined will equal that of autumn and winter. When they
are aligned with the solstices, the difference in the length of these
seasons will be greatest.
Main article: Orbital inclination
The inclination of
Earth's orbit drifts up and down relative to its
present orbit. This three-dimensional movement is known as "precession
of the ecliptic" or "planetary precession". Earth's current
inclination relative to the invariable plane (the plane that
represents the angular momentum of the Solar System, approximately the
orbital plane of Jupiter) is 1.57°.
Milankovitch did not study apsidal precession. It was discovered more
recently and measured, relative to Earth's orbit, to have a period of
about 70,000 years. However, when measured independently of Earth's
orbit, but relative to the invariable plane, precession has a period
of about 100,000 years. This period is very similar to the
100,000-year eccentricity period. Both periods closely match the
100,000-year pattern of glacial events.
The nature of sediments can vary in a cyclic fashion, and these cycles
can be displayed in the sedimentary record. Here, cycles can be
observed in the colouration and resistance of different strata.
Artifacts taken from the
Earth have been studied to infer the cycles
of past climate. A study of the chronology of Antarctic ice cores
using oxygen-nitrogen ratios in air bubbles trapped in the ice, which
appear to respond directly to the local insolation, concluded that the
climatic response documented in the ice cores was driven by northern
hemisphere insolation as proposed by the Milankovitch hypothesis.
Analysis of deep-ocean cores, analysis of lake depths, and a
seminal paper by Hays, Imbrie, and Shackleton provide additional
validation through physical artifacts.
These studies fit so well with the orbital periods that they supported
Milankovitch's hypothesis that variations in the Earth's orbit
influence climate. However, the fit was not perfect, and problems
remained reconciling hypothesis with observation.
Main article: 100,000-year problem
Of all the orbital cycles, Milankovitch believed that obliquity had
the greatest effect on climate, and that it did so by varying the
summer insolation in northern high latitudes. Therefore, he deduced a
41,000-year period for ice ages. However, subsequent
research has shown that ice age cycles of the Quaternary
glaciation over the last million years have been at a 100,000-year
period, which matches the eccentricity cycle.
Various explanations for this discrepancy have been proposed,
including frequency modulation or various feedbacks (from carbon
dioxide, cosmic rays, or from ice sheet dynamics). Some models can
reproduce the 100,000-year cycles as a result of non-linear
interactions between small changes in the
Earth's orbit and internal
oscillations of the climate system.
Jung-Eun Lee of
Brown University proposes that precession changes the
amount of energy that
Earth absorbs, because the southern hemisphere's
greater ability to grow sea ice reflects more energy away from Earth.
Moreover, Lee says, "
Precession only matters when eccentricity is
large. That's why we see a stronger 100,000-year pace than a
Some have argued that the length of the climate record is insufficient
to establish a statistically significant relationship between climate
and eccentricity variations.
Variations of cycle times, curves determined from ocean sediments
In fact, from 1–3 million years ago, climate cycles did match the
41,000-year cycle in obliquity. After 1 million years ago, this
switched to the 100,000-year cycle matching eccentricity. The
transition problem refers to the need to explain what changed 1
million years ago.
Unsplit peak problem
Even the well-dated climate records of the last million years do not
exactly match the shape of the eccentricity curve. Eccentricity has
component cycles of 95,000 and 125,000 years. However, some
researchers say the records do not show these peaks, but only show a
single cycle of 100,000 years.
Stage 5 problem
Deep-sea core samples show that the interglacial interval known as
marine isotope stage 5 began 130,000 years ago. This is 10,000 years
before the solar forcing that the Milankovitch hypothesis predicts.
(This is also known as the causality problem, because the effect
precedes the putative cause.)
Effect exceeds cause
Climate change feedback
420,000 years of ice core data from
Vostok, Antarctica research
Artifacts show that the variation in Earth's climate is much more
extreme than the variation in the intensity of solar radiation
calculated as the
Earth's orbit evolves. If orbital forcing causes
climate change, science needs to explain why the observed effect is
amplified compared to the theoretical effect.
Some climate systems exhibit amplification (positive feedback) and
damping responses (negative feedback). An example of amplification
would be if, with the land masses around 65° north covered in
year-round ice, solar energy were reflected away. Amplification would
mean that an ice age induces changes that impede orbital forcing from
ending the ice age.
The Earth's current orbital inclination is 1.57° (see above). Earth
presently moves through the invariable plane around January 9 and July
9. At these times, there is an increase in meteors and noctilucent
clouds. If this is because there is a disk of dust and debris in the
invariable plane, then when the Earth's orbital inclination is near
0° and it is orbiting through this dust, materials could be accreted
into the atmosphere. This process could explain the narrowness of the
100,000-year climate cycle.
Present and future conditions
Past and future of daily average insolation at top of the atmosphere
on the day of the summer solstice, at 65 N latitude. The green curve
is with eccentricity e hypothetically set to 0. The red curve uses the
actual (predicted) value of e. Blue dot is current conditions, at
2 ky A.D.
Since orbital variations are predictable, any model that relates
orbital variations to climate can be run forward to predict future
An often-cited 1980 orbital model by Imbrie predicted "the long-term
cooling trend that began some 6,000 years ago will continue for the
next 23,000 years." More recent work suggests that orbital
variations should gradually increase 65° N summer insolation
over the next 25,000 years.
Earth's orbit will become less
eccentric for about the next 100,000 years, so changes in this
insolation will be dominated by changes in obliquity, and should not
decline enough to cause an ice age in the next 50,000 years.
However, the mechanism by which orbital forcing influences climate is
not well understood nor definitive:
Earth is not homogeneous. Milankovitch did not relate Earth's ice ages
to the total amount of solar radiation (insolation) reaching
to the insolation striking 65° N in summer, due to the relative
ease of heating the larger land masses of the northern hemisphere.
Later studies have suggested that insolation hitting ice would simply
be reflected away.
Earth is not inert.
Geology affects climate, not just from the heat of
the Earth's core, but from changes to the atmosphere caused by
volcanic eruptions. Even the configuration of land masses and ice
masses changes over time due to continental drift.
The flourishing and industrial activity of humankind may affect
climate (may contribute anthropogenic effects) in ways not predicted
by orbital models. Many studies have concluded that detectable
increases in greenhouse gas in the 20th and 21st centuries would trap
energy and result in a warmer climate. A previous theory
was that industrial particulate pollution of the atmosphere would
block solar radiation and result in cooling.
Future of earth
Future of earth presents a variety of infrequent events,
such as collisions of bodies within the solar system and encounters
with bodies outside the solar system, with the potential to make past
or future climate deviate from a mathematical model of orbital
Effects beyond Earth
Other bodies in the
Solar System undergo orbital fluctuations like the
Milankovitch cycles. Any geological effects would not be as pronounced
as climate change on the Earth, but might cause the movement of
elements in the solid state:
Mars has no moon large enough to stabilize its obliquity, which has
varied from 10 to 70 degrees. This would explain recent observations
of its surface compared to evidence of different conditions in its
past, such as the extent of its polar caps.
Saturn's moon Titan has a cycle of approximately 60,000 years that
could change the location of the methane lakes. Neptune's moon
Triton has a variation similar to Titan's, which could cause its solid
nitrogen deposits to migrate over long time scales.
Scientists using computer models to study extreme axial tilts have
concluded that high obliquity would cause climate extremes that would
threaten Earth-like life. They noted that high obliquity would not
likely sterilize a planet completely, but would make it harder for
warm-blooded, land-based life to thrive. Although the obliquity
they studied is more extreme than
Earth ever experiences, there are
scenarios 1.5 to 4.5 billion years from now, as the Moon's stabilizing
effect lessens, where obliquity could leave its current range and the
poles could eventually point almost directly at the Sun.
^ Karney, Kevin. "Variation in the Equation of Time" (PDF).
^ Girkin, Amy Negich (2005). A Computational Study on the Evolution of
the Dynamics of the
Obliquity of the
Earth (PDF) (Master of Science
thesis). Miami University.
^ Laskar, J; Fienga, A.; Gastineau, M.; Manche, H (2011). "La2010: A
New Orbital Solution for the Long-term Motion of the Earth" (PDF).
Astronomy & Astrophysics. 532 (A889): A89.
^ Berger A.; Loutre M.F.; Mélice J.L. (2006). "Equatorial insolation:
from precession harmonics to eccentricity frequencies" (PDF). Clim.
Past Discuss. 2 (4): 519–533. doi:10.5194/cpd-2-519-2006.
^ Data from United States Naval Observatory
^ a b van den Heuvel, E. P. J. (1966). "On the
Precession as a Cause
of Pleistocene Variations of the Atlantic Ocean Water Temperatures".
Geophysical Journal International. 11: 323–336.
^ Muller RA, MacDonald GJ (1997). "Spectrum of 100-kyr glacial cycle:
orbital inclination, not eccentricity". Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 94
(16): 8329–34. doi:10.1073/pnas.94.16.8329. PMC 33747 .
^ Kawamura et al., Nature, 23 August 2007, vol 448, pp 912–917
^ Kerr, Richard A. “Milankovitch
Climate Cycles through the Ages.”
Science, vol. 235, no. 4792, 1987, pp. 973–974. JSTOR, JSTOR,
^ Olsen, Paul E. “A 40-Million-Year Lake Record of Early Mesozoic
Orbital Climatic Forcing.” Science, vol. 234, no. 4778, 1986, pp.
842–848. JSTOR, JSTOR, www.jstor.org/stable/1698087.
^ Hays, J. D.; Imbrie, J.; Shackleton, N. J. (1976). "Variations in
the Earth's Orbit: Pacemaker of the Ice Ages". Science. 194 (4270):
^ Milankovitch, Milutin (1998) . Canon of
Insolation and the Ice
Age Problem. Belgrade: Zavod za Udz̆benike i Nastavna Sredstva.
ISBN 86-17-06619-9. ; see also "Astronomical Theory of
^ Imbrie and Imbrie; Ice Ages, solving the mystery, p 158
^ Imbrie, Hays, Shackleton Science 1976
^ Shackleton, N. J.; Berger, A.; Peltier, W. R. (3 November 2011). "An
alternative astronomical calibration of the lower Pleistocene
timescale based on ODP Site 677". Transactions of the Royal Society of
Earth Sciences. 81 (04): 251–261.
^ Insolation-driven 100,000-year glacial cycles and hysteresis of
ice-sheet volume Ayako Abe-Ouchi et al Nature 500 2013
^ Rial, J.A. (October 2003), "Earth's orbital Eccentricity and the
rhythm of the Pleistocene ice ages: the concealed pacemaker" (PDF),
Global and Planetary Change, 41 (2): 81–93,
doi:10.1016/j.gloplacha.2003.10.003, archived from the original (PDF)
^ Ghil, Michael (1994). "Cryothermodynamics: the chaotic dynamics of
paleoclimate". Physica D. 77 (1–3): 130–159.
^ Gildor H, Tziperman E (2000). "Sea ice as the glacial cycles'
climate switch: Role of seasonal and orbital forcing".
Paleoceanography. 15 (6): 605–615. Bibcode:2000PalOc..15..605G.
^ Kevin Stacey (2017-01-26). "Earth's orbital variations and sea ice
synch glacial periods". m.phys.org.
^ Lee, Jung-Eun; Shen, Aaron; Fox-Kemper, Baylor; Ming, Yi (1 January
2017). "Hemispheric sea ice distribution sets the glacial tempo".
Geophys. Res. Lett. 44: 2016GL071307. doi:10.1002/2016GL071307 – via
Wiley Online Library.
^ Wunsch, Carl (2004). "Quantitative estimate of the
Milankovitch-forced contribution to observed Quaternary climate
change". Quaternary Science Reviews. 23 (9–10): 1001–12.
^ Zachos JC, Shackleton NJ, Revenaugh JS, Pälike H, Flower BP (April
Climate response to orbital forcing across the
Oligocene-Miocene boundary". Science. 292 (5515): 27–48.
^ "Nonlinear coupling between 100 ka periodicity of the paleoclimate
records in loess and periodicities of precession and semi-precession"
^ A Causality Problem for Milankovitc; Karner & Muller; Science;
(2000); accessed 2/01/2018
^ Richard A Muller,
Gordon J. F. MacDonald (1997). "Glacial Cycles and
Astronomical Forcing". Science. 277 (5323): 215–8.
^ a b "Origin of the 100 kyr Glacial Cycle: eccentricity or
orbital inclination?". Richard A Muller. Retrieved March 2,
^ F. Varadi; B. Runnegar; M. Ghil (2003). "Successive Refinements in
Long-Term Integrations of Planetary Orbits" (PDF). The Astrophysical
Journal. 592: 620–630. Bibcode:2003ApJ...592..620V.
doi:10.1086/375560. Archived from the original (PDF) on
^ J Imbrie; J Z Imbrie (1980). "Modeling the Climatic Response to
Orbital Variations". Science. 207 (4434): 943–953.
Paleoclimatology Program – Orbital Variations and
^ Berger A, Loutre MF (2002). "Climate: An exceptionally long
interglacial ahead?". Science. 297 (5585): 1287–8.
doi:10.1126/science.1076120. PMID 12193773. CS1 maint: Uses
authors parameter (link)
^ A. Ganopolski, R. Winkelmann & H. J. Schellnhuber (2016).
"Critical insolation–CO2 relation for diagnosing past and future
glacial inception". Nature. 529: 200–203. doi:10.1038/nature16494.
PMID 26762457. CS1 maint: Uses authors parameter (link)
^ Kaufman, D. S.; Schneider, D. P.; McKay, N. P.; Ammann, C. M.;
Bradley, R. S.; Briffa, K. R.; Miller, G. H.; Otto-Bliesner, B. L.;
Overpeck, J. T.; Vinther, B. M.; Abbott, M.; Axford, M.; Bird, Y.;
Birks, B.; Bjune, H. J. B.; Briner, A. E.; Cook, J.; Chipman, T.;
Francus, M.; Gajewski, P.; Geirsdottir, K.; Hu, A.; Kutchko, F. S.;
Lamoureux, B.; Loso, S.; MacDonald, M.; Peros, G.; Porinchu, M.;
Schiff, D.; Seppa, C.; Seppa, H.; Arctic Lakes 2k Project Members
(2009). "Recent Warming Reverses Long-Term Arctic Cooling". Science.
325 (5945): 1236–1239. doi:10.1126/science.1173983.
^ "Arctic Warming Overtakes 2,000 Years of Natural Cooling". UCAR.
September 3, 2009. Archived from the original on 27 April 2011.
Retrieved 19 May 2011.
^ Bello, David (September 4, 2009). "Global Warming Reverses Long-Term
Arctic Cooling". Scientific American. Retrieved 19 May 2011.
^ Schorghofer, Norbert (2008). "Temperature response of
Milankovitch cycles". Geophysical Research Letters. 35 (18): L18201.
^ "3.5 Modeling
Milankovitch cycles on
Mars (2010 – 90; Annual Symp
Planet Atmos)". Confex.
^ "Hydrocarbon lakes on Titan – Alex Hayes (SETI Talks)".
^ Nicholos Wethington (30 November 2009). "Lake Asymmetry on Titan
Sun Blamed for Warming of
Earth and Other Worlds".
^ Williams, D.M., Pollard, P. (2002). "Earth-like worlds on eccentric
orbits: excursions beyond the habitable zone" (PDF). Inter. J.
Astrobio. 1: 21–9. doi:10.1017/s1473550402001064. CS1 maint:
Multiple names: authors list (link)
^ Neron de Surgy, O.; Laskar, J. (February 1997), "On the long term
evolution of the spin of the Earth",
Astronomy and Astrophysics, 318:
The oldest reference for
Milankovitch cycles is: M. Milankovitch,
Mathematische Klimalehre und Astronomische Theorie der
Klimaschwankungen, Handbuch der Klimatologie, Band I, Teil A,Berlin,
Verlag von Gebrüder Borntraeger, 1930.
Roe G (2006). "In defense of Milankovitch". Geophysical Research
Letters. 33 (24): L24703. Bibcode:2006GeoRL..3324703R.
doi:10.1029/2006GL027817. This shows that Milankovitch theory
fits the data extremely well, over the past million years, provided
that we consider derivatives.
Kaufmann R. K.; Juselius K. (2016), "Testing competing forms of the
Milankovitch hypothesis", Paleoceanography, 31: 286–297,
Edvardsson S, Karlsson KG, Engholm M (2002). "Accurate spin axes and
solar system dynamics: Climatic variations for the
Earth and Mars".
Astronomy and Astrophysics. 384 (2): 689–701.
This is the first work that investigated the derivative of the ice
volume in relation to insolation (page 698).
Zachos J, Pagani M, Sloan L, Thomas E, Billups K (2001). "Trends,
Rhythms, and Aberrations in Global
Climate 65 Ma to Present". Science.
292 (5517): 686–693. Bibcode:2001Sci...292..686Z.
doi:10.1126/science.1059412. PMID 11326091.
This review article discusses cycles and great-scale changes in the
global climate during the
Pälike, H., R.D. Norris, J.O. Herrle, P.A. Wilson, H.K. Coxall, C.H.
Lear, N.J. Shackleton, A.K. Tripati, and B.S. Wade (2006). "The
Heartbeat of the
Climate System". Science. 314 (5807):
1894–1898. doi:10.1126/science.1133822. PMID 17185595. A
13-million-year continuous record of
Oligocene climate from the
equatorial Pacific reveals a pronounced "heartbeat" in the global
carbon cycle and periodicity of glaciations. CS1 maint: Uses
authors parameter (link)
Wikimedia Commons has media related to Milankovitch cycles.
The Wikibook Historical
Geology has a page on the topic of:
Ice Age – Milankovitch Cycles – National Geographic Channel
The Milankovitch band, Internet Archive of American Geophysical Union
Some history of the adoption of the Milankovitch hypothesis (and an
More detail on orbital obliquity also matching climate patterns
"Milutin Milankovitch". On the Shoulders of Giants. Retrieved January
Climate Forcing Data". NOAA. National Centers for Environmental
Information. Text: includes (calculated) data on orbital variations
over the last 50 million years and for the coming 20 million
The Orbital Simulations; by Varadi, Ghil and Runnegar (2003) provide
another, slightly different series for orbital eccentricity, and also
a series for orbital inclination
Earth wobbles linked to extinctions
Milankovitch Cycles & Ice Ages
Ab urbe condita
Anno Domini / Common Era
Hindu units of time
Hindu units of time (Yuga)
Canon of Kings
Lists of kings
Pre-Julian / Julian
Old Style and New Style dates
Adoption of the Gregorian calendar
Astronomical year numbering
Chinese sexagenary cycle
ISO week date
Winter count (Plains Indians)
Geological history of Earth
Geological time units
Global Standard Stratigraphic Age (GSSA)
Global Boundary Stratotype Section and Point (GSSP)
Law of superposition
Amino acid racemisation
Terminus post quem
Global warming and climate change
Record of the past 1,000 years
Attribution of recent climate change
Earth's energy budget
Earth's radiation balance
Global warming potential
Land use, land-use change and forestry
Urban heat island
Global climate model
History of climate change science
Charles David Keeling
Opinion and climate change
Media coverage of climate change
Public opinion on climate change
Scientific opinion on climate change
Scientists opposing the mainstream assessment
Climate change denial
Global warming conspiracy theory
By country & region
Clean Power Plan
Climate change denial
Intergovernmental Panel on
Climate Change (IPCC)
March for Science
United Nations Framework Convention on
Climate Change (UNFCCC / FCCC)
Global climate regime
Potential effects and issues
Abrupt climate change
Arctic dipole anomaly
Arctic methane release
Climate change and agriculture
Climate change and ecosystems
Climate change and gender
Climate change and poverty
Current sea level rise
Economics of global warming
Effect on plant biodiversity
Effects on health
Effects on humans
Effects on marine mammals
Extinction risk from global warming
Fisheries and climate change
Industry and society
Polar stratospheric cloud
Retreat of glaciers since 1850
Runaway climate change
Shutdown of thermohaline circulation
Clean Development Mechanism
Bali Road Map
2009 United Nations
Climate Change Conference
Climate Change Programme
Climate Change Roundtable
Climate Change Programme
United States withdrawal
Regional climate change initiatives in the United States
List of climate change initiatives
Carbon capture and storage
Efficient energy use
Individual action on climate change
Carbon dioxide removal
Climate change mitigation scenarios
Individual and political action on climate change
Reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation
Climate Action Plan
Damming glacial lakes
Avoiding dangerous climate change
Land allocation decision support system
Glossary of climate change
Index of climate change articles
8.2 kiloyear event
Antarctic Circumpolar Wave
Arctic dipole anomaly
Atlantic Equatorial mode
Atlantic multidecadal oscillation
Earth's axial tilt
Diurnal temperature variation
El Niño–Southern Oscillation
El Niño–Southern Oscillation (
El Niño - La Niña)
Equatorial Indian Ocean oscillation
Indian Ocean Dipole
North Atlantic oscillation
North Pacific Oscillation
Pacific decadal oscillation
Pacific–North American teleconnection pattern
Earth sciences portal