Trends, Rhythms, and Aberrations in Global Climate 65 Ma to Present

  title={Trends, Rhythms, and Aberrations in Global Climate 65 Ma to Present},
  author={James C. Zachos and Mark Pagani and Lisa Cirbus Sloan and Ellen Thomas and Katharina Billups},
  pages={686 - 693}
Since 65 million years ago (Ma), Earth's climate has undergone a significant and complex evolution, the finer details of which are now coming to light through investigations of deep-sea sediment cores. This evolution includes gradual trends of warming and cooling driven by tectonic processes on time scales of 105to 107 years, rhythmic or periodic cycles driven by orbital processes with 104- to 106-year cyclicity, and rare rapid aberrant shifts and extreme climate transients with durations of… 

One-way and quasi-periodic climate changes: Geologic evidence

During the last three billion years, the Earth has been experiencing a slow global cooling, expressed in the progressively increasing frequency and scale of glacial events. Based on these

Orbital cyclicity in climate change over the last three million years

In the Earth’s climate history, there were substantial oscillations of the climate, reliable evidence of which remained in the sea and ocean sediments and ice sheets. The current glacial period, in

Global and African Regional Climate during the Cenozoic

The last 65 Ma of Earth’s history, the Cenozoic, has been a time characterized by significant climate change. Major global changes included massive tectonic reorganization, a reduction in atmospheric

Late Quaternary Climate History of Northern Europe

  • A. Ojala
  • Environmental Science, Geography
  • 2012
Understanding the full range of natural climate variability is a fundamental basis for palaeoclimate reconstruction and for estimating the magnitude of the anthropogenic influence on global change.


The Earth's climate, from regional to global, varies on all time scales. Large-scale climate variations in the past can be related to changes in geological processes (plate tectonic) and orbital

Quaternary oceans and climate change: lessons for the future?

There is much interest in ice-age studies in recent decades, in the context of global warming. The relevant findings are these: large regular changes in climate occurred within the last million

Thresholds for Cenozoic bipolar glaciation

It is found that Oi-1 is best explained by Antarctic glaciation alone, combined with deep-sea cooling of up to 4 °C and Antarctic ice that is less isotopically depleted than previously suggested, which implies that episodic northern-hemispheric ice sheets have been possible some 20 million years earlier than currently assumed and could explain some of the variability in Miocene sea-level records.

Evolution of global temperature over the past two million years

A spatially weighted proxy reconstruction of global temperature over the past 2 million years estimated from a multi-proxy database of over 20,000 sea surface temperature point reconstructions suggests that stabilization at today’s greenhouse gas levels may already commit Earth to an eventual total warming of 5 degrees Celsius over the next few millennia as ice sheets, vegetation and atmospheric dust continue to respond to global warming.

Late Miocene decoupling of oceanic warmth and atmospheric carbon dioxide forcing

It is proposed that a relatively deep global thermocline, reductions in low-latitude gradients in sea surface temperature, and cloud and water vapour feedbacks may help to explain the warmth of the late Miocene.

Movement of deep-sea coral populations on climatic timescales

During the past 40,000 years, global climate has moved into and out of a full glacial period, with the deglaciation marked by several millennial-scale rapid climate change events. Here we investigate



A long marine history of carbon cycle modulation by orbital-climatic changes.

  • T. Herbert
  • Environmental Science, Geography
    Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
  • 1997
Nonlinear responses of the carbon system may help to amplify relatively weak orbital insolation anomalies into more significant climatic perturbations through positive feedback effects, and transformed orbital-climatic cycles into long-wavelength features on time scales comparable to the residence times of carbon and nutrient elements in the ocean.

Orbitally paced climate oscillations across the Oligocene/Miocene boundary

The late Oligocene and early Miocene periods, some 21 to 27 million years ago, have generally been viewed as times of moderate global warmth and ice-free conditions. Yet several lines of evidence

The evolution of oceanic oxygen-isotope variability in the North Atlantic over the past three million years

Throughout the past three million years, variability in the oxygen-isotopic composition of the ocean, caused by changing ice-sheet mass on the continents, has been concentrated at the frequencies

Climate Response to Orbital Forcing Across the Oligocene-Miocene Boundary

A major transient glaciation at the epoch boundary of late Oligocene–early Miocene climate and ocean carbon chemistry from two deep-sea cores recovered in the western equatorial Atlantic corresponds with a rare orbital congruence involving obliquity and eccentricity, resulting in an extended period of low seasonality orbits favorable to ice-sheet expansion on Antarctica.

Abrupt Climate Change and Transient Climates during the Paleogene: A Marine Perspective

It is investigated the possibility that sudden reorganizations in ocean and/or atmosphere circulation during these abrupt transitions generated short-term positive feedbacks that briefly sustained these transient climatic states.

Modeling 100,000-Year Climate Fluctuations in Pre-Pleistocene Time Series

Results reported here from a modeling study suggest that such a response can occur over low-latitude land areas involved in monsoon fluctuations, and simulated fluctuations resemble those found in records of Triassic lake levels.

Orbitally Induced Climate and Geochemical Variability Across the Oligocene/Miocene Boundary

To assess the influence of orbital-scale variations on late Oligocene to early Miocene climate and ocean chemistry, high-resolution (∼5 kyr) benthic foraminiferal carbon and oxygen isotope and

Exploring the structure of the mid-Pleistocene revolution with advanced methods of time-series analysis

Abstract The mid-Pleistocene climate transition is a complex global change leading to Late Pleistocene ice ages with increased mean ice volume and dominant 100-ka cycle. A thorough understanding of

Late Paleocene-early Eocene climatic and biotic events in the marine and terrestrial records

The transition from the Paleocene to the Eocene Epoch-approximately 55 million years ago-represents a critical moment in the earth's history, when the warmest climatic episode of the Cenozoic era