Although the Earth orbits around the sun in an elliptical trajectory, and it rotates around its own axis, both its axis and trajectory go through changes known as Milankhovic cycles. These cycles occur in time ranges of thousands of years and have a tremendous and direct impact on Earth’s climate.
There are three major factors included in Milankhovic cycles predictions:
Translation: the elliptical orbit the Earth describes around the sun changes in distance from the sun. Cooler Earth;s climates are a direct consequence of an increase of the distance Earth – Sun, warmer Earth’s climates descend from a shorter distance between the Earth and the sun.
Precesssion: The axis of the Earth oscillates in inclination, being it responsible for the amount of solar radiation that reaches the Earth. Depending on Earth’s axis pointing at Vega or at the North Star, Earth’s climate display two very different patterns.
Obliquity: The axis of the Earth changes in inclination in time stamps of thousands of years, oscillating from 24.5 to 22.5 degrees of oscillation, This is proven to change magnetism on Earth and have direct consequences on the amount of solar radiation that reaches any point on Earth.
Climate on Earth is a direct result of these three cycles and their variations, these cycles justify ice ages and warm episodes on Earth’s climate.
Image source: skepticalscience.com
Sara Vanessa C. Rodrigues da Silva
Meteorologist (MSc), Geophysicist (BSc), Author, Starlight Connect Founder