UCSB Geologist Discovers Link Between Earth’s Orbit and Climate

As reported in this week’s issue of Nature Geoscience, UCSB geologist Lorraine Lisiecki has discovered a pattern that connects the regular changes of Earth’s orbital cycle to changes in Earth’s climate. Earth’s orbit around the sun changes shape every 100,000 years (becoming either more round or more elliptical), and glaciation also occurs every 100,000 years. Besides finding a link between change in the shape of the orbit and the onset of glaciation, Lisiecki found that the largest glacial cycles occurred during the smallest changes in the shape of Earth’s orbit, and vice versa.

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