Climate Model Projections Significantly Diverge from Paleoclimate Analogs

Watts Up With That?

By Renee Hannon


Over the past million years, our Earth displays a rhythmic beat when exiting full glacial cycles and entering interglacial warm periods. The characteristics and duration of these systematic warm periods provide an excellent dataset to help prognoses of future climate patterns. Astronomical Milankovitch cycles play a major role and trigger internal Earth processes that control the rapid onset and gradual cooling of interglacial warm periods. This post examines the duration of these interglacial warm periods as a key analog dataset compared to several published statistical and complex climate model projections. Results indicate climate models where the initiation of glaciation depends strongly on CO2 concentrations over astronomical controls significantly overpredict the duration of the present-day warm period compared to past interglacial analogs.

Glacial Cycles

During the past 800 kyrs there are nine glacial cycles with approximately eleven interglacial warm periods including the Holocene present day as…

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