Research NewsPaleoclimatology

A Dusty Ice Age Trigger Looks Too Weak

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Science  08 May 1998:
Vol. 280, Issue 5365, pp. 828-829
DOI: 10.1126/science.280.5365.828b

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Summary

Most climate researchers believe that the 100,000-year cycle of the ice ages is driven by the changing ellipticity of Earth's orbit, but one physicist has argued that the changing tilt of Earth's orbital plane dips it in and out of a cloud of climate-altering interplanetary dust. Now, on page 874, two planetary scientists report calculations suggesting that dust should indeed fall to Earth in a 100,000-year cycle matching the ice ages, but the amount involved appears to be too small to alter climate.

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