Ice ages and the Earth’s orbit

  • Exhibition Text

    • A striking feature of the climate record for the past million years is the regularity of ice ages — intensely cold periods that appear to follow the combined effects of three regular cycles, or frequencies. These frequencies were predicted in 1911 by a Serbian astronomer, Milutin Milankovic. He proposed that variations in the Earth’s orbit and in the tilt and wobble of its axis cause changes in the intensity of solar radiation reaching the Earth’s surface, and that such variations caused the ice ages.

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  • For Educators

    • Topic: Earth Science

      Subtopic: Geologic Time

      Keywords: Solar radiation, Milankovitch cycles, Glacial epoch, Earth (Planet)--Orbit, Paleoclimatology

      Audience: General