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Late Quaternary changes in climate

Abstract

This review concerns the Quaternary climate with an emphasis on the last 200 000 years. The present state of art in this field is described and evaluated. The review builds on a thorough examination of classic and recent literature. General as well as detailed patterns in climate are described and the forcing factors and feed-back effects are discussed. Changes in climate occur on all time-scales. During more than 90% of the Quaternary period earth has experienced vast ice sheets, i.e. glaciations have been more normal for the period than the warm interglacial conditions we face today. Major changes in climate, such as the 100 000 years glacial/interglacial cycle, are forced by the Milankovitch three astronomical cycles. Because the cycles have different length climate changes on earth do not follow a simple pattern and it is not possible to find perfect analogues of a certain period in the geological record. Recent discoveries include the observation that major changes in climate seem to occur at the same time on both hemispheres, although the astronomical theory implies a time-lag between latitudes. This probably reflects the influence of feed-back effects within the climate system. Another recent finding of importance is the rapid fluctuations that  More>>
Authors:
Holmgren, K; Karlen, W [1] 
  1. Stockholm Univ. (Sweden). Dept. of Physical Geography
Publication Date:
Dec 01, 1998
Product Type:
Technical Report
Report Number:
SKB-TR-98-13
Reference Number:
SCA: 052002; PA: AIX-30:007158; EDB-99:023092; SN: 99002065271
Resource Relation:
Other Information: DN: 207 refs, 16 figs; PBD: Dec 1998
Subject:
05 NUCLEAR FUELS; CLIMATIC CHANGE; FEEDBACK; FLUCTUATIONS; GLACIERS; PLEISTOCENE EPOCH; RADIOACTIVE WASTE DISPOSAL; UNDERGROUND DISPOSAL
OSTI ID:
314578
Research Organizations:
Swedish Nuclear Fuel and Waste Management Co., Stockholm (Sweden)
Country of Origin:
Sweden
Language:
English
Other Identifying Numbers:
Other: ON: DE99613993; TRN: SE9900016007158
Availability:
INIS; OSTI as DE99613993
Submitting Site:
SWDN
Size:
63 p.
Announcement Date:

Citation Formats

Holmgren, K, and Karlen, W. Late Quaternary changes in climate. Sweden: N. p., 1998. Web.
Holmgren, K, & Karlen, W. Late Quaternary changes in climate. Sweden.
Holmgren, K, and Karlen, W. 1998. "Late Quaternary changes in climate." Sweden.
@misc{etde_314578,
title = {Late Quaternary changes in climate}
author = {Holmgren, K, and Karlen, W}
abstractNote = {This review concerns the Quaternary climate with an emphasis on the last 200 000 years. The present state of art in this field is described and evaluated. The review builds on a thorough examination of classic and recent literature. General as well as detailed patterns in climate are described and the forcing factors and feed-back effects are discussed. Changes in climate occur on all time-scales. During more than 90% of the Quaternary period earth has experienced vast ice sheets, i.e. glaciations have been more normal for the period than the warm interglacial conditions we face today. Major changes in climate, such as the 100 000 years glacial/interglacial cycle, are forced by the Milankovitch three astronomical cycles. Because the cycles have different length climate changes on earth do not follow a simple pattern and it is not possible to find perfect analogues of a certain period in the geological record. Recent discoveries include the observation that major changes in climate seem to occur at the same time on both hemispheres, although the astronomical theory implies a time-lag between latitudes. This probably reflects the influence of feed-back effects within the climate system. Another recent finding of importance is the rapid fluctuations that seem to be a normal process. When earth warmed after the last glaciation temperature jumps of up to 10 deg C occurred within less than a decade and precipitation more than doubled within the same time. The forcing factors behind these rapid fluctuations are not well understood but are believed to be a result of major re-organisations in the oceanic circulation. Realizing that nature, on its own, can cause rapid climate changes of this magnitude put some perspective on the anthropogenic global warming debate, where it is believed that the release of greenhouse gases will result in a global warming of a few C. To understand the forcing behind natural rapid climate changes appears as important as to understand the role of man in changing climate, if accurate predictions of future climate changes are to be made 207 refs, 16 figs}
place = {Sweden}
year = {1998}
month = {Dec}
}