Milankovitch Forcing of the Last Interglacial Sea Level

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Science  09 Sep 1994:
Vol. 265, Issue 5178, pp. 1566-1568
DOI: 10.1126/science.265.5178.1566


During the last interglacial, sea level was as high as present, 4000 to 6000 years before peak Northern Hemisphere insolation receipt 126,000 years ago. The sea-level results are shown to be consistent with climate models, which simulate a 3° to 4°C July temperature increase from 140,000 to 130,000 years ago in high latitudes, with all Northern Hemisphere land areas being warmer than present by 130,000 years ago. The early warming occurs because obliquity peaked earlier than precession and because precession values were greater than present before peak precessional forcing occurred. These results indicate that a fuller understanding of the Milankovitch-climate connection requires consideration of fields other than just insolation forcing at 65°N.