What are the three components of the Milankovitch cycle?

1 Answer
Nov 3, 2016

Eccentricity, obliquity and precession.


Changes in the orbit affect the amount of solar light hitting the Earth and the distribution of it geographically and seasonally. Milutin Milankovitch proposed the connection between orbital variations and climate in 1930s.

The shape of the Earth's orbit oscillates from elliptical to more closely circular in every 100,000 years (and this is called eccentricity).

The Earth's tilt angle with respect to the orbit fluctuates between 21.5 degrees and 24.5 degrees with a period of 41,000 years. This is called obliquity.

There is a 23,000 year period associated with wobble of the Earth's spin axis. This is called precession.

These are the three components of Milankovitch oscillations.