Objective This paper presents a statistical test of the orbital forcing of glacial terminations. Main Result Glacial periods terminated every two or third obliquity cycle at times of high obliquity. Obliquity pacing of the late Pleistocene glacial terminations P. Huybers, C. Wunsch.
This paper presents a statistical test of the orbital forcing of glacial terminations.
Glacial periods terminated every two or third obliquity cycle at times of high obliquity.
Obliquity pacing of the late Pleistocene
P. Huybers, C. Wunsch
Data: Uses the EOF1 of 10 marine del18O records, which is a proxy for ice volume and ocean temperature. It's on a depth-derived age-model that has no orbital information built into the model.
Null Hypothesis (H0): glacial terminations independent of an orbital period.
Alternative hypothesis (H1): glacial terminations are paced by a certain orbital period.
Orbital periods: obliquity, precession, eccentricity
To apply the test it is necessary to determine the PDF of H0 and H1.
Model: Ice volume variability is represented by a random walk with terminations:
if V(t) >= T0(=90 kyr) => terminate, and ice volume is linearly reset to 0 in 10kyr.
I.C. V(t=-700kyr) between [0,T0]
Note that if n(t)=1, cycles would last 100kyr (no need for oscillator).
Do 10000 realizations of the random walk.
A PDF for H0 is constructed as follows: for each realization we consider 8 consecutive terminations and calculate
whereӨ is the phase between termination initiations and the orbital period.
The PDF of H1 is estimated using R and considering that glacial terminations always occur at the same phase of the orbital period, but that phase observations are subject to identification (+-1kyr) and age-model (+-9kr) error.
of R (H0)
Rejects H0 age-model uncertainty ~1/2 cycle H0 is not rejected
“Model” of del18O variations based on obliquity forcing.
if V(t) >= T0-a*Obl(t) => terminate (the larger the obliquity, the easier)
Adjustable parameters: a, T0, I.C.
Set to a=15, T0=105, V(t=-700)=30
n(t) can be deterministic (=1) or stochastic (~N(1,2))
periods at 70, 29 and 23
are combinations of 41 and
Times between terminations
averages 100kr, but has
a tri-modal distribution
with peaks at 2, 3 and 4
Triang: obs duration between
Speculation about cycle-skipping:
Increased obliquity increases high latitude insolation and causes heating of ice-sheets, eventually warming the ice-bedrock interface (~10kyr).
=> If ice is thin, obliquity has small effect.
=> If ice is thick basal melting provides lubrication of the ice-bedrock interface and increases ice flux into ocean.