EGU General Assembly 2020
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

The role of eccentricity in determining the spacing between interglacials

Eric Wolff1, Michel Crucifix2, and Chronis Tzedakis3
Eric Wolff et al.
  • 1University of Cambridge, Earth Sciences, Cambridge, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (
  • 2Université catholique de Louvain, Earth and Life Institute, Georges Lemaître Centre for Earth and Climate Research, Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium
  • 3Environmental Change Research Centre, Department of Geography, University College London, London, UK

In a recent paper Tzedakis et al (2017) described a simple rule that predicts, using only caloric summer half-year insolation as input, which insolation cycles lead to the onset of an interglacial. The rule is based on an energy threshold, one of whose characteristics is that it reduces with time since the last interglacial onset, reflecting increased fragility of glacial climate as ice sheets get larger. The rule correctly predicts every complete deglaciation of the past million years, a period in which interglacial onset skips both precession and obliquity cycle maxima. This then raises the question to what extent the approximate 100 ka period observed in the last million years is due simply to internal dynamics rather than to the period of eccentricity present in the insolation record. Here we will test this by creating synthetic insolation curves from which eccentricity (or other orbital components) have been removed.  We will then use the proposed rule to test to what extent eccentricity influences the spacing of interglacials. We will also assess the impact of other orbital components and the impact earlier in the Quaternary when the energy threshold was lower.

How to cite: Wolff, E., Crucifix, M., and Tzedakis, C.: The role of eccentricity in determining the spacing between interglacials, EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-9574,, 2020


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