Carbon dioxide drove climate change during longest interglacial



Known as the marine isotope stage 11 (MIS 11), the interglacial period that occurred from approximately 425,000 years ago to approximately 375,000 years ago was the longest and possibly the warmest interglacial in the past 500,000 years. Because the orbital configurations, atmospheric greenhouse gas concentrations, climate, and faunal characteristics during MIS 11 closely resemble those of the past 5000 years, paleoclimatologists use MIS 11 as a geological analogue of the present and the near future. Several high- resolution records document almost all aspects of terrestrial and marine climate through MIS 11. However, there is neither a clear understanding about how climatic parameters such as atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2), sea surface temperature, the isotopic makeup of carbon in marine and terrestrial reservoirs, and annual air temperature interact, nor a consensus regarding the major drivers of climate change during this interval.