Cumulated insolation: a simple explanation of Milankovitch's forcing on climate changes
Istituto Nazionale di Geofisica e Vulcanologia, Dept. Seismology and Tectonophysics, Via di Vigna Murata 605, 00147 Rome, Italy
Received: 21 Aug 2013 – Accepted for review: 22 Sep 2013 – Discussion started: 02 Oct 2013
Abstract. The occurrence of the sudden melting of the ice sheets during the glacial terminations is explained in this paper as the consequence of the combined role of the minima and the maxima of mean summer insolation on the Northern Hemisphere, providing a new contribution to understand the mechanisms ruling glacial forcing. Indeed, no satisfactory answer has been provided so far to the question why one specific maximum, after a series of consecutive maxima of insolation, has the potentiality to trigger a deglaciation. The explanation proposed in this paper accounts for a pre-conditioning factor, represented by "mild" (warmer) minimum, followed by a sufficiently warm maximum as the conditions that cause the end of a glacial cycle. These conditions are realized whenever the sum of the values of each consecutive minima and maxima ("cumulated insolation") on the curve of mean summer insolation at 65° N exceeds 742 Watt m−2. The comparison of the succession of these cumulated insolation values with the astronomically tuned Oxygen isotopes record provides a satisfactory match with the occurrence of all the glacial terminations in the last 800 ka.
Marra, F.: Cumulated insolation: a simple explanation of Milankovitch's forcing on climate changes, Clim. Past Discuss., 9, 5553-5568, doi:10.5194/cpd-9-5553-2013, 2013.