Clim. Past Discuss., 6, 1421-1452, 2010
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This discussion paper has been under review for the journal Climate of the Past (CP). Please refer to the corresponding final paper in CP.
Earth as diode: monsoon source of the orbital ~100 ka climate cycle
R. Y. Anderson
Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM 87131, USA

Abstract. A potential source for Earth's enigmatic ~100 ka climate cycle, which is found in many ancient geological records at low latitudes and also in the pacing of glaciation during the late Pleistocene, is traced to a climatic rectifying process inherent in the monsoon. Seasonal information needed to identify the rectifying mechanism is preserved within varves of a continuous, 200 ka recording of annual maximum surface temperature (Tmax) from the equator of Western Pangea. Specific seasonal reactions recorded in varves show how the monsoon reacted to seasonal differences in insolation at equinox to produce a 11.7 ka semi-precession cycle in Tmax. At solstice, anti-phasing of insolation in the Northern and Southern Hemispheres, intensified and focused by a highly asymmetric Pangea relative to the equator, produced a strong equatorial maritime monsoon that performed a nonlinear rectifying function similar to that of a simple rectifying diode. Expressed in the resulting varve series are substantial cycles in Tmax of 100 ka, 23.4 ka, and 11.7 ka. Importantly, any external or internal forcing of the tropical (monsoon) climate system at higher-than-orbital frequencies (e.g. solar, ENSO) should also be amplified at Milankovitch frequencies by the monsoon.

Citation: Anderson, R. Y.: Earth as diode: monsoon source of the orbital ~100 ka climate cycle, Clim. Past Discuss., 6, 1421-1452, doi:10.5194/cpd-6-1421-2010, 2010.
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