New research shows Earth's tilt influences climate change

December 14, 2015
A composite image of the Western hemisphere of the Earth. Credit: NASA

Louisiana State University paleoclimatologist Kristine DeLong contributed to an international research breakthrough that sheds new light on how the tilt of the Earth affects the world's heaviest rainbelt. DeLong analyzed data from the past 282,000 years that shows, for the first time, a connection between the Earth's tilt called obliquity that shifts every 41,000 years, and the movement of a low pressure band of clouds that is the Earth's largest source of heat and moisture—the Intertropical Convergence Zone, or ITCZ.

"I took the data and put it through a mathematical prism so I could look at the patterns and that's where we see the obliquity cycle, that 41,000-year cycle. From that, we can go in and look at how it compares to other records," said DeLong, who is an associate professor in the LSU Department Geography & Anthropology.

With research collaborators at the University of Science and Technology of China and National Taiwan University, DeLong looked at sediment cores from off the coast of Papua New Guinea and stalagtite samples from ancient caves in China. DeLong's data analysis revealed obliquity in both the paleontological record and computer model data. This research was published in Nature Communications on Nov. 25.

The standard assumptions about how the variations in the Earth's orbit influences changes in climate are called Milankovitch cycles. According to these principles, the Earth's tilt influenced ice sheet formation during the Ice Ages, the slow wobble that occurs on a 23,000-year cycle as the Earth rotates around the sun called precession affects the Tropics and the shape of the Earth's orbit that occurs on a 100,000-year cycle controls how much energy the Earth receives.

"This study was interesting in that when we started doing the spectral analysis, the 41,000-year tilt cycle started showing up in the Tropics. That's not supposed to be there. That's not what the textbooks tell us," DeLong said.

This finding shows that the tilt of the Earth plays a much larger part in ITCZ migration than previously thought, which will enable climate scientists to better predict extreme weather events. Historically, the collapse of the Mayan civilization and several Chinese dynasties have been linked to persistent droughts associated with the ITCZ. This new information is critical to understanding global climate and sustainable human socioeconomic development, the researchers said.

Additionally, climate scientists have begun to recognize that rather than shifting north and south, the ITCZ expands and contracts, based on this information.

Explore further: Geologist discovers pattern in Earth's long-term climate record

More information: Yi Liu et al. Obliquity pacing of the western Pacific Intertropical Convergence Zone over the past 282,000 years, Nature Communications (2015). DOI: 10.1038/ncomms10018

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19 comments

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cjones1
3.7 / 5 (6) Dec 14, 2015
Important verification of natural processes.
Gimp
2.6 / 5 (17) Dec 14, 2015
Oh No, say it ain't so, how in the world are we going to legislate that or tax it. OMG the horror!
Eddy Courant
2.5 / 5 (13) Dec 14, 2015
I'm in shock. Has The Consensus been notified?
SuperThunder
3.1 / 5 (17) Dec 14, 2015
What headline says : New research shows Earth's tilt influences climate change.

What howlers read : Science disproves itself, gives permission to hoard money and hate neighbors for absolutely any reason whatsoever. Check out our upcoming ten part phys.org series : God Exists, the Scientific Proof that Outrage Over Money is the Same as Divinity, authored by Pat Buchanan!

No wonder our responses confuse them.
freeiam
2.1 / 5 (11) Dec 14, 2015
What headline says : New research shows Earth's tilt influences climate change.

What howlers read : Science disproves itself, gives permission to hoard money and hate neighbors for absolutely any reason whatsoever. Check out our upcoming ten part phys.org series : God Exists, the Scientific Proof that Outrage Over Money is the Same as Divinity, authored by Pat Buchanan!

No wonder our responses confuse them.


Your right this was completely predicted by our current models.
If you don't know it, ask a climate scientist, they always know the answer, and certainly in retrospect (rewriting history is a favorite past time I guess).
Captain Stumpy
4.2 / 5 (10) Dec 14, 2015
Your right this was completely predicted by our current models blah blah whine cry boo-hoo (rewriting history is a favorite past time I guess)
for the other idiots like freeiam
http://www.ncdc.n...tch.html

http://science.op...082.html

so...stuff "last modified" in 1977, 2004, 2009... so yeah, i guess we DID know about how "tilt affects climate"
and as the study notes
Here we present a tropical precipitation record from the Southern Hemisphere covering the past 282,000 years...
this is just more validation of said information we already know quite a bit about from various means, from above to http://www.ncdc.n...lideset/

if you're gonna make comments, perhaps you should do a cursory check of the data first so that you don't appear to be as literate as my pet acorn?
SuperThunder
3.2 / 5 (11) Dec 14, 2015
At least acorns understand teleology. I don't see these howlers becoming anything as great as an oak tree.
NIPSZX
2.6 / 5 (5) Dec 14, 2015
We also need to take consideration on the earth's tilt when building new infrastructures such as space elevators and other large structures that can minutely take a small toll on the earth's axis/rotation.
ForFreeMinds
2.2 / 5 (10) Dec 14, 2015
Glad to see that climate scientists are discovering some of the likely hundreds of variables that affect the climate.

The idea of focusing on CO2, man's contribution to it and making policy from it, when there are hundreds of variables affecting the climate, is like believing in witchcraft.
tommo
4.3 / 5 (6) Dec 15, 2015
Another aspect, the 20k-year cycle is shown to turn the Sahara into green from jetstream migration for about 7k years of the 20k, this not exactly matching the 41k-year cycle and along with the 120k-year cycle put us in a cooling from the interglacial maximum for the next 12k-15k years when CO2 finally would drop below 200-ppm and begin a full glacial period.

Our interglacial matches one of about 700k-years ago for timing on the major cycles and ends in about 1,500-years to have then an increasing cooling rate for the next 12k-15k, until we jumped CO2 43% since coal became king and screwed it all really bad, so far beyond natural variability it's pathetic.

Unless we can create a mini ice-age and replace the Arctic sea ice we're hosed ... there is literally no way to stop the methane release from Arctic sources with continued radical warming, the promise to prevent heating above 1.5C air with the oceans already 1.6C warmer is bs, they still want to drill the Arctic Ocean.
Captain Stumpy
4.6 / 5 (9) Dec 15, 2015
Glad to see that climate scientists are discovering some of the likely hundreds of variables that affect the climate.

The idea of focusing on CO2, man's contribution to it and making policy from it, when there are hundreds of variables affecting the climate, is like believing in witchcraft.
@freefromabrain
1- scientists have been seeking as many causes and climate variables since at least the 1960's

2- one reason they focused on CO2 is because of the KNOWN properties, the KNOWN physics, and the repeated validated studies that demonstrate it's affects on our atmosphere

3- repeating lies doesn't make them more true unless you are forming a cult, but if that is your concern, then i suggest refusing to allow your cult members access to actual information (makes your lies more feasible)

4- in reality - and a far better analogy- ignoring blatant validated evidence is more like "witchcraft" as it concentrates on accepting a delusion over reality
Dug
3 / 5 (2) Dec 15, 2015
"DeLong analyzed data from the past 282,000 years that shows, >>>>for the first time<<<<, a connection between the Earth's tilt called obliquity that shifts every 41,000 years, and the movement of a low pressure band of clouds that is the Earth's largest source of heat and moisture—the Intertropical Convergence Zone, or ITCZ."

Consequently, "first time" means this data was previously unknown and is not incorporated into any current climate models.
Vietvet
4.3 / 5 (6) Dec 15, 2015

Consequently, "first time" means this data was previously unknown and is not incorporated into any current climate models.


Considering the time frames involved it will be a very long time before this data will be relevant
for climate models.
vidyunmaya
1.6 / 5 (7) Dec 16, 2015
sub; science -credibility index- International Year of light transcends to Conscious spirit
Noble Cause : Human-Being, Environment, Divine Nature and Harmony
1.ENVIRONMENT SENSEX-EARTH'S GLOW-SUN-LIFE SIGNIFICANCE
Aout 4 satellites are tracking below SUN -last 15 years -clusters-ESO-NASA-SOHO etc and van-allen belts - Venus-mercury links. why not learn ?
2. pridhvi- earth region -100 AU as a link provides more answers
Search Cosmology Vedas Interlinks -Books at LULU
Necessity: Earth Planet is lifted-up need to establish Magnetic Field-flow links [science in philosophy]
see my papers at COSPAR2013
Demand: request all scientists to desist from detrimental technologies below Ionosphere
Vidyardhi nanduri {independant research-Cosmology world Peace]
vidyunmaya
1.6 / 5 (7) Dec 16, 2015
read and update: climate Environment Linksup Heart of the Universe.
Thanks for the reference material provided through Interaction
http://www.ncdc.n...tch.html
http://www.ncdc.n...lideset/
http://science.op...082.html
1.The cycles of obliquity last 40,000 years and the tilt itself varies from 22 to 24.5 degrees.
2.When a hemisphere is oriented toward the sun at perihelion, extreme differences in seasons result, and this pattern is reversed in the opposite hemisphere. The Earth's axis wobbles in cycles that last 26,000 years.
3.Climate: The combined effects of the cycles of eccentricity, obliquity and precession cause changes in weather patterns on Earth. Earth is 5 million kilometers (3 million miles) farther away from the sun at aphelion than it is at perihelion
my inputs: cosmology needs best of brains trust
with this information , can we Interlink space Cosmology vedas
vidyunmaya
1.6 / 5 (7) Dec 16, 2015
my inputa: cosmology needs best of brains trust
with this information , can we Interlink space Cosmology vedas
my book Pridhveem Viswam Asya dharineem- Earth region links up to Heart of the Universe
identified as 100,000 light years beyond Galactic Plane -10^20 m links to 100 AU
CENTRE OF THE UNIVERSE-HEART OF THE UNIVERSE-Nov 2006 - TXU 1-364-245 -The Science in Philosophy- Pridhvi Viswam Asya Dharineem Cosmos yoga vision series-II- cover upto 10^5 L Y
This Book available at LULU [dot] com
https://www.scrib...-NANDURI
BartV
1 / 5 (1) Dec 20, 2015
DeLong analyzed data from the past 282,000 years that ....


What data set is this? I would like to know more how they got this data.

SuperThunder
5 / 5 (3) Dec 20, 2015
BartV, it is a shame the article doesn't say. I would have guessed ice cores, but the linked study has this :

Here we present a tropical precipitation record from the Southern Hemisphere covering the past 282,000 years, inferred from a marine sedimentary sequence collected off the eastern coast of Papua New Guinea.

http://www.nature...018.html
Here's some more on sedimentary basins.
http://ocw.mit.ed...ch11.pdf

And id anyone's interested in ice cores, since I brought it up.
http://climatecha...101.html
Whydening Gyre
5 / 5 (2) Dec 20, 2015
Climatologists have always "known". This study just details and refines the characteristics of that previous "knowing"...

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