Articles | Volume 13, issue 9
Clim. Past, 13, 1259–1267, 2017
https://doi.org/10.5194/cp-13-1259-2017

Special issue: Publications by EGU Medallists

Clim. Past, 13, 1259–1267, 2017
https://doi.org/10.5194/cp-13-1259-2017
Research article
 | Highlight paper
25 Sep 2017
Research article  | Highlight paper | 25 Sep 2017

The Plio-Pleistocene climatic evolution as a consequence of orbital forcing on the carbon cycle

Didier Paillard

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Short summary
Ice ages are paced by astronomical parameters. On longer timescales, the astronomy also acts on climate, as evidenced by the 400 kyr signature observed in carbon isotopic records. In this paper, I present a conceptual model that links the astronomy to the dynamics of organic carbon in coastal areas. The model reproduces the carbon isotopic records and a two-step decrease in atmospheric CO2 that would explain the Pleistocene (~ 2.8 Myr BP) and mid-Pleistocene (~ 0.8 Myr BP) transition.