What are the Milankovitch Cycles, and how are they connected to global climate change patterns?

1 Answer
Feb 5, 2018

Answer:

Milankovitch cycles describe the collective effects of changes in the Earth's movements upon its climate. They are observations all related to the energy received by the sun due to different orbital positions and inclinations.

Explanation:

Orbital and axial variations influence the initiation of climate change in long-term natural cycles of 'ice ages' and 'warm periods' known as 'glacial' and 'interglacial' periods.

Natural global warming, and cooling, is considered to be initiated by Milankovitch cycles. These orbital and axial variations influence the initiation of climate change in long-term natural cycles of 'ice ages' and 'warm periods' known as 'glacial' and 'interglacial' periods.

As the Earth's orbit changes, so too does the amount of sunlight that falls on different latitudes and in seasons.  The amount of sunlight received in the summer at high northern latitudes appears to be especially important to determining whether the Earth is in an ice age or not. When the northern summer sun is strong, the Earth tends to be in a warm period.  When it is weak we tend to be in an ice age.  

As we come out of an ice age, the sea level rises about 400 feet, and we enjoy a warm period 'like' the one we are in now. That is the natural cycle, brief warm periods followed by an ice age about every 100 thousand years. http://ossfoundation.us/projects/environment/global-warming/milankovitch-cycles
See also: http://geography.about.com/od/learnabouttheearth/a/milankovitch.htm

The Milankovitch cycles show the levels of CO2 and temperature decreasing and increasing naturally over time due to the Earths orbit. How would the Earth's orbit in any way lower levels of CO2?
It most likely would not directly affect CO2 levels.

Milankovitch cycles describes the collective effects of changes in the Earth's movements upon its climate. They are observations all related to the energy received by the sun due to different orbital positions and inclinations.

None of them directly affect CO2 concentrations, although water temperatures and plant proliferation may be enabling factors.