Earth’s Climate Related to Planet’s Eccentricity

According to a new study the regular shift in Earth’s orbit may have a direct linkage to a change in the climate.

[social_buttons]In an analysis that looked at ocean sediment cores from 57 locations, UC Santa Barbara geologist Lorraine Lisiecki has found that over the past 1.2 million years there appears a linkage between a shift in the shape of Earth’s orbit – the eccentricity – and Earth’s climate.

By analysing the sediments in the ocean sediment cores scientists are able to look back through Earth’s climate for millions of years. What Lisiecki has done is link the climate information found within these sediment cores and correlated it with a history of Earth’s orbit.

A generally acknowledged scientific fact is that Earth’s orbit around the sun changes every 100,000 years, becoming either more round or more elliptical.

According to her study, Lisiecki has found that glaciation also occurs every 100,000 years, and that the timing of changes in climate and eccentricity coincided.

“The clear correlation between the timing of the change in orbit and the change in the Earth’s climate is strong evidence of a link between the two,” said Lisiecki. “It is unlikely that these events would not be related to one another.”

Oddly, Lisiecki discovered that the largest glacial cycles occurred during the weakest changes in the eccentricity of Earth’s orbit, and vice versa. In other words, the stronger the shift in our planet’s orbit, the weaker the shift in our planet’s climate. According to Lisiecki, “this may mean that the Earth’s climate has internal instability in addition to sensitivity to changes in the orbit.”

According to the press release from the University of California – Santa Barbara, Lisiecki concludes that climate changes over the past million years probably involves a complex interaction between various aspects of our planet’s climate system working in conjunction with three different orbital systems; eccentricity, tilt and precession.

Image Source: NASA Image of the Day

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