Insolation Control of Ice Sheet Mass Balance in the 41-kyr World: a test of Multiple Hypotheses

Lead PI: Dr. Maureen E. Raymo

Unit Affiliation: Biology and Paleo Environment, Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory (LDEO)

August 2011 - July 2013
Project Type: Research

DESCRIPTION: Investigate physical mechanisms responsible for the 41,000 year glacial cycles of the Late Pliocene and Early Pleistocene. Specifically, the researcher will evaluate the signal of meltwater outflow from the Mississippi Drainage Basin in the Gulf of Mexico to test two competing hypotheses to explain the conundrum of the 41,000 year Milankovitch cycle world. The first hypothesis is the integrated insolation hypothesis of Huybers that predicts the timing of ablation/meltwater events on the southern margin of the Laurentide ice sheet should be paced by obliquity. The other is the anti-phase precession ice hypothesis of Raymo which predicts that Laurentide ablation/meltwater events should be paced strongly by precession.

OUTCOMES: 1 conference briefing in 2010; participation in Urbino Summer school;
Lisiecki, LE; Raymo, ME; Curry, WB. "Atlantic overturning responses to Late Pleistocene climate forcings," NATURE, v.456, 2008, p. 85. View record at Web of Science doi:10.1038/nature0742

Hansen, J., M. Sato, P. Kharecha, D. Beerling, R. Berner, V. Masson-Delmotte, M. Pagani, M. Raymo, D. L. Royer, and J. C. Zachos. "Target atmospheric CO2: Where should humanity aim?," Open Atmospheric Science Journal, v.2, 2008, p. 217. doi:10.2174/1874282300802010217

Raymo, ME; Huybers, P. "Unlocking the mysteries of the ice ages," NATURE, v.451, 2008, p. 284. View record at Web of Science doi:10.1038/nature0658

Lawrence, K. T., I. Bailey, and M. E. Raymo. "Re-evaluation of the age model for North Atlantic Ocean Site 982 ? arguments for a return to the original chronology," Climates of the Past, v.9, 2013, p. 2217.

Bailey, I., G. Hole, G. Foster, P. Wilson, C. Storey, C. Trueman, and M. E. Raymo,. "An alternative suggestion for the Pliocene onset of major northern hemisphere glaciation based on the geochemical provenance of North Atlantic Ocean ice-rafted debris.," Quat. Sci. Rev., v.75, 2013, p. 181.

Abe-Ouchi, A., F. Saito, K. Kawamura, M. E. Raymo, J. Okuno, K. Takahashi, and H. Blatter. "100-kyr glacial cycles from ice sheet-climate system with hysteresis driven by insolation," Nature, v.500, 2013, p. 190.


National Science Foundation (NSF)




National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, University of California-Santa Barbara, Oregon State University



climate models laurentide ablation meltwater ocean and climate physics pleistocene ice sheets milankovitch pliocene