Modeling 100,000-Year Climate Fluctuations in Pre-Pleistocene Time Series

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Science  07 Feb 1992:
Vol. 255, Issue 5045, pp. 705-707
DOI: 10.1126/science.255.5045.705


A number of pre-Pleistocene climate records exhibit significant fluctuations at the 100,000-year (100-ky) eccentricity period, before the time of such fluctuations in global ice volume. The origin of these fluctuations has been obscure. Results reported here from a modeling study suggest that such a response can occur over low-latitude land areas involved in monsoon fluctuations. The twice yearly passage of the sun across the equator and the seasonal timing of perihelion interact to increase both 100-ky and 400-ky power in the modeled temperature field. The magnitude of the temperature response is sufficiently large to leave an imprint on the geologic record, and simulated fluctuations resemble those found in records of Triassic lake levels.