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Climate of the Past An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
© Author(s) 2012. This work is distributed
under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
Research article
27 Mar 2012
Review status
A revision of this discussion paper for further review has not been submitted.
Differences between the glacial cycles of Antarctic temperature and greenhouse gases
A. W. Omta Department of Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Sciences, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 77 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge, MA 02130, USA
Abstract. Ice-core measurements have indicated that the atmospheric concentrations of the greenhouse gases CO2 and CH4 show glacial-interglacial variations in step with Antarctic temperature. To obtain more insight into the nature of this relationship for cycles of different frequencies, measured time series of temperature, CO2, and CH4 are reanalysed. The results indicate that the temperature signal consists of a linear superposition of a component related to CO2 with a period of ~100 000 yr and a component related to variations in the obliquity of the Earth's orbital plane with a period of ~41 000 yr. This suggests that either there operate very different feedback mechanisms at the different time scales or that CO2 is not merely a~passive follower and amplifier of the glacial-interglacial variations in Antarctic temperature.

Citation: Omta, A. W.: Differences between the glacial cycles of Antarctic temperature and greenhouse gases, Clim. Past Discuss., 8, 987-1004, doi:10.5194/cpd-8-987-2012, 2012.
A. W. Omta
A. W. Omta


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