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The mid-Pleistocene enigma

The mid-Pleistocene enigma
The mid-Pleistocene enigma
Variations in Earth’s orbit affect incoming solar radiation and have guided past glacial-​interglacial oscillations. These rhythmic changes in insolation are known as Milankovitch cycles. Approximately 900,000 years ago, Earth’s climate pacemaker skipped a beat and switched from the 41,000-year obliquity (Earth’s axial tilt) pacing of the Early Pleistocene to ~100,000-year eccentricity (circularity of Earth’s orbit around the sun) pacing of the Late Pleistocene. This glacial-to-interglacial shift, called the Mid-Pleistocene Transition (MPT), remains one of the most enduring mysteries of the Quaternary and in the field of paleoceanography. Recent reconstructions of atmospheric and oceanic processes and studies of the dynamic linkages between them have paved the way for a more detailed mechanistic understanding of this climatic transition and of Earth’s climate system at large.
1042-8275
101 - 103
Ford, Heather
aa96281a-ca46-4012-9565-a45b5716ec05
Chalk, Thomas
b8efb41d-0365-43fe-b98b-272f8b755f3f
Ford, Heather
aa96281a-ca46-4012-9565-a45b5716ec05
Chalk, Thomas
b8efb41d-0365-43fe-b98b-272f8b755f3f

Ford, Heather and Chalk, Thomas (2020) The mid-Pleistocene enigma. Oceanography, 33 (2), 101 - 103. (doi:10.5670/oceanog.2020.216).

Record type: Article

Abstract

Variations in Earth’s orbit affect incoming solar radiation and have guided past glacial-​interglacial oscillations. These rhythmic changes in insolation are known as Milankovitch cycles. Approximately 900,000 years ago, Earth’s climate pacemaker skipped a beat and switched from the 41,000-year obliquity (Earth’s axial tilt) pacing of the Early Pleistocene to ~100,000-year eccentricity (circularity of Earth’s orbit around the sun) pacing of the Late Pleistocene. This glacial-to-interglacial shift, called the Mid-Pleistocene Transition (MPT), remains one of the most enduring mysteries of the Quaternary and in the field of paleoceanography. Recent reconstructions of atmospheric and oceanic processes and studies of the dynamic linkages between them have paved the way for a more detailed mechanistic understanding of this climatic transition and of Earth’s climate system at large.

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Published date: 19 August 2020

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 444783
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/444783
ISSN: 1042-8275
PURE UUID: 50541f30-75d6-4f62-8928-b48d30a62ab6

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Date deposited: 04 Nov 2020 17:31
Last modified: 26 Nov 2021 00:04

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Contributors

Author: Heather Ford
Author: Thomas Chalk

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