Does a Climate Clock Get a Noisy Boost?

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Science  27 Oct 2000:
Vol. 290, Issue 5492, pp. 697-698
DOI: 10.1126/science.290.5492.697

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Three researchers pondering what could be behind a roughly 1500-year cycle of warming and cooling are suggesting that it is a combination of two climate drivers, each too weak to have a large effect on its own. When a strictly periodic cycle teams up with just the right amount of thoroughly irregular noise, the combination could achieve "stochastic resonance" and set off the dramatic climate shifts of the last ice age--or the next, possibly human-triggered, Little Ice Age. No one is claiming the case is proven, but if true it will complicate predictions of future climate.