Articles | Volume 15, issue 2
Clim. Past, 15, 493–520, 2019
Clim. Past, 15, 493–520, 2019

Research article 21 Mar 2019

Research article | 21 Mar 2019

An energy balance model for paleoclimate transitions

Brady Dortmans et al.

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Cited articles

Alley, R. B., Marotzke, J., Nordhaus, W. D., Overpeck, J. T., Peteet, D. M., Pielke Jr., A., Pierrehumbert, R. T., Rhines, P. B., Stocker, T. F., Talley, L. D., and Wallace, J. M.: Abrupt climate change, Science, 299, 2005–2010, 2003. a
Arnold, L., Namachchivaya, N. S., and Schenk, K.: Toward an understanding of stochastic bifurcation: Case study, Internat. J. Bifur. Chaos, 6, 1947–1979, 1996. a
Baatsen, M., von der Heydt, A. S., Huber, M., Kliphuis, M. A., Bijl, P. K., Sluijs, A., and Dijkstra, H. A.: Equilibrium state and sensitivity of the simulated middle-to-late Eocene climate, Clim. Past Discuss.,, in review, 2018. a
Ballantyne, A. P., Greenwood, D. R., Sinninghe Damsté, J. S., Csank, A. Z., Eberle, J. J., and Rybczynski, N.: Significantly Warmer Arctic Surface Temperatures during the Pliocene Indicated by Multiple Independent Proxies, Geology, 38, 603–606, 2010. a, b, c
Barron, E. J.: A warm, equable Cretaceous: the nature of the problem, Earth-Sci. Rev., 19, 305–338, 1983. a, b, c, d, e, f
Short summary
In geology and in paleoclimate science, most changes are caused by well-understood forces acting slowly over long periods of time. However, in highly nonlinear physical systems, mathematical bifurcation theory predicts that small changes in forcing can cause major changes in the system in a short period of time. This paper explores some sudden changes in the paleoclimate history of the Earth, where it appears that bifurcation theory gives a more satisfying explanation than uniformitarianism.