Insolation and glacials



    1. Geological Institute of the Czechoslovak Academy of Sciences, 13, Trojanova, Praha 2, Czechoslovakia, November 24th, 1971
    Search for more papers by this author
    • 2

      Lamont-Doherty Geological Observatory of Columbia University, Palisades, N. Y. 10964, U. S. A.


Climatic changes result from variables in planetary orbits which modulate solar energy emission and change seasonal and latitudinal distribution of heat received by the Earth. Small insolation changes are multiplied by the albedo effect of the winter snow fields of the Northern Hemisphere, by ocean-atmosphere feedbacks, and, probably, by the stratospheric ozone layer. The role of volcanic explosions and other aperiodic phenomena is secondary. The immediate climate response to insolation trends permits astronomic dating of Pleistocene events. A new glacial insolation regime, expected to last 8000 years, began just recently. Mean global temperatures may eventually drop about 1oC in the next hundred years. A refinement of the Milankovitch theory in terms of the lunar orbit and more data on solar periodicities are needed for reliable long range predictions.