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Climate of the Past An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union

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Clim. Past Discuss., 9, 1237-1257, 2013
© Author(s) 2013. This work is distributed
under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
Review article
04 Mar 2013
Review status
This discussion paper is under review for the journal Climate of the Past (CP).
On the Milankovitch sensitivity of the Quaternary deep-sea record
W. H. Berger
1Geosciences Research Division, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, University of California, San Diego, USA
*Invited contribution by W. H. Berger, recipient of the Milutin Milankovic Medal 2012.

Abstract. The response of the climate system to external forcing has become an item of prime interest in the context of global warming, especially with respect to the rate of melting land-based ice masses. The deep-sea record of ice-age climate change has been useful in assessing the sensitivity of the climate system to such forcing, notably to orbital forcing, which is well-known for the last several million years. When comparing response and forcing, one finds that sensitivity varies greatly through time, apparently in dependence on the state of the system. The changing stability of ice masses presumably is the underlying cause for the changing state of the system. A buildup of vulnerable ice masses within the latest Tertiary, when going into the ice ages, is conjectured to cause a stepwise increase of climate variability since the early Pliocene.

Citation: Berger, W. H.: On the Milankovitch sensitivity of the Quaternary deep-sea record, Clim. Past Discuss., 9, 1237-1257, doi:10.5194/cpd-9-1237-2013, 2013.
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