Does Gaia end Ice Ages?

Details-Eemian

Figure 1: The blue curve is a calculation of the maximum insolation in summer at the north pole. The ice volume data is the benthic d18O stack. In red is the Epica temperature anomaly data from Antarctica. In yellow is the Epica CO2 data and in purple their dust data. The black curve is the change in the Earth’s orbital eccentricity. The temperature, dust, and ice volume data have all been scaled for comparison purposes.

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3 Responses to Details-Eemian

  1. Clive Richardson says:

    Every chart like this I see tends to suggest, from a layman’s perspective, that CO2 lags temperature. Yet all the talk is of how CO2 drives global temperature. Am I missing something?

    • Clive Best says:

      In general CO2 always follows temperature as the amount of airborne CO2 is temperature sensitive. It is only today and probably one other time during the PETM 50 million years ago that CO2 leads temperature. An externally forced increase of CO2 (us today and volcanoes during PETM) will change the energy balance of the atmosphere probably leading to a couple of degrees warming. If this delays the next ice age by 50,000 years then it may even be a blessing in disguise.

    • Clive Best says:

      No. You’re right. The only time CO2 has led temperature is right now and 50 million years ago during PETM.

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