February 28, 2007
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FROM VOLUME 5, NUMBER 12, DECEMBER 1992
Milankovitch theory questioned: The theory that the timing of ice
ages is largely controlled by Earth orbital influences on solar insolation has
been challenged by a paleoclimatological record obtained from minerals from
Devil's Hole, a flooded fault system in Nevada. (See Prof. Pubs./Gen. Int.
Science, this GLOBAL CLIMATE CHANGE DIGEST issue--Dec. 1992.) Another
conclusion of the research is that interglacial periods are longer than
previously thought, so that we are not nearing the end of the present
interglacial, as generally believed. The resulting scientific controversy is
discussed in Science, pp. 220-221, Oct. 9, 1992; Sci. News, pp.
228-229, Oct. 10; New Scientist, p. 15, Nov. 21; New York Times,
pp. C1, C7, Dec. 1.
Sea level rise: Dutch researchers have calculated that the rate of
sea level rise from glaciers melting in a warmer climate would be roughly
half previous estimates. (See Oerlemans, Prof. Pubs./Gen. Int. Sci., this
GLOBAL CLIMATE CHANGE DIGEST issue--Dec. 1992)
"A Star in the Greenhouse: Can the Sun Dampen the Predicted Global
Warming?" R. Monastersky, Sci. News, pp. 282-283, 285, Oct. 24,
1992. A lengthy survey of recent results. Work at the Naval Research Laboratory
on variations in solar output supports the theory that rising greenhouse gas
concentrations caused much of the warming since the late 19th century, and
throws doubt on the Marshall Institute's argument that dimming of the sun in the
next century will offset any greenhouse warming.
"When Climate Twitches, Evolution Takes Great Leaps," R.A. Kerr,
Science, pp. 1622-1624, Sep. 18, 1992. Feature article. Abrupt climate
excursions, superimposed on long-term trends, have been linked to rapid periods
of mammalian evolution. Discusses mechanisms of abrupt changes in the climate
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