Spectrum of 100-kyr glacial cycle: orbital inclination, not eccentricity

Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1997 Aug 5;94(16):8329-34. doi: 10.1073/pnas.94.16.8329.

Abstract

Spectral analysis of climate data shows a strong narrow peak with period approximately 100 kyr, attributed by the Milankovitch theory to changes in the eccentricity of the earth's orbit. The narrowness of the peak does suggest an astronomical origin; however the shape of the peak is incompatible with both linear and nonlinear models that attribute the cycle to eccentricity or (equivalently) to the envelope of the precession. In contrast, the orbital inclination parameter gives a good match to both the spectrum and bispectrum of the climate data. Extraterrestrial accretion from meteoroids or interplanetary dust is proposed as a mechanism that could link inclination to climate, and experimental tests are described that could prove or disprove this hypothesis.