How long will the 'precession epoch' last in terms of Pleistocene glacial cycles?

V. A. Bol'shakov

Moscow State University, Faculty of Geography, Moscow, Russia


[1]  Paleoclimate orbital theory, also known as astronomical, or Milankovitch theory is in common use to explain global climate changes in Pleistocene time, mainly glacial-interglacial cycles. However, there are well-known contradictions between this theory and empirical data that were intensively studied by a large number of scientists during last 30 years. Nevertheless, there has not been any important progress in resolution of these contradictions yet. This paper deals with a new approach to the research of problems relevant to the orbital theory. It is based on critical analysis of orbital theory history development. Main drawbacks of the recent version of the astronomical theory of paleoclimate and certain recommendations how to eliminate them are given. A great attention is given to the climatic influence of the Earth's feedbacks and the Earth's total annual insolation variations.

Received 6 March 2008; accepted 20 March 2008; published 31 March 2008.

Keywords: Milankovitch theory, paleoclimate, annual insolation variations, Pleistocene glacial terminations.

Index Terms: 0429 Biogeosciences: Climate dynamics; 0473 Biogeosciences: Paleoclimatology and paleoceanography; 1626 Global Change: Global climate models; 4934 Paleoceanography: Insolation forcing.


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