Milankovitch Cycles

Milankovitch Cycles

Milankovitch theory describes the collective effects of changes in the Earth's movements upon its climate, named after Serbian geophysicist and astronomer Milutin Milanković, who worked on it during First World War internment. Milanković mathematically theorized that variations in eccentricity, axial tilt, and precession of the Earth's orbit determined climatic patterns on Earth through orbital forcing.

The Earth's axis completes one full cycle of precession approximately every 26,000 years. At the same time the elliptical orbit rotates more slowly. The combined effect of the two precessions leads to a 21,000-year period between the astronomical seasons and the orbit. In addition, the angle between Earth's rotational axis and the normal to the plane of its orbit (obliquity) oscillates between 22.1 and 24.5 degrees on a 41,000-year cycle. It is currently 23.44 degrees and decreasing.

Other astronomical theories were advanced by Joseph Adhemar, James Croll and others, but verification was difficult due to the absence of reliably dated evidence and doubts as to exactly which periods were important. Not until the advent of deep-ocean cores and a seminal paper by Hays, Imbrie, and Shackleton, "Variations in the Earth's Orbit: Pacemaker of the Ice Ages", in Science (1976) did the theory attain its present state.

Read more about Milankovitch Cycles:  Earth’s Movements, Problems, Present and Future Conditions, Other Planets in The Solar System

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Holocene Climatic Optimum - Milankovitch Cycles
... This climatic event was probably a result of predictable changes in the Earth's orbit (Milankovitch cycles) and a continuation of changes that caused the ... The calculated Milankovitch Forcing would have provided 8% more solar radiation (+40 W/m2) to the Northern Hemisphere in summer, tending to cause greater heating at that time ...
Milankovitch Cycles - Other Planets in The Solar System
... System have been discovered to have Milankovitch cycles ... Mostly these cycles are not as intense or complex as the Earth's cycles, but do have a global geological impact with respect to the movement of ... Mars's polar caps vary in extent due to orbital instability related to a latent Milankovitch cycle Saturn's moon Titan has a ~60,000-year cycle that changes the ...
Quaternary Glaciation - Causes - Astronomical Cycles
... Main articles Milankovitch cycles and orbital forcing See also 100,000-year problem The role of Earth's orbital changes in controlling climate was first advanced by James Croll in the late 19th century ... on the theory and calculated these irregularities in Earth's orbit could cause the climatic cycles known as Milankovitch cycles ... in the orbital eccentricity of Earth occur on a cycle of about 100,000 years ...
Causes of Ice Ages - Variations in Earth's Orbit (Milankovitch Cycles)
... The Milankovitch cycles are a set of cyclic variations in characteristics of the Earth's orbit around the Sun ... Each cycle has a different length, so at some times their effects reinforce each other and at other times they (partially) cancel each other ... There is strong evidence that the Milankovitch cycles affect the occurrence of glacial and interglacial periods within an ice age ...

Famous quotes containing the word cycles:

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