Milankovitch cycles

(redirected from Milankovitch hypothesis)

Milankovitch cycles

[mē·lən′kō·vich ‚sīk·əlz]
(geophysics)
Periodic variations in the earth's position relative to the sun as the earth orbits, affecting the distribution of the solar radiation reaching the earth and causing climatic changes that have profound impacts on the abundance and distribution of organisms, best seen in the fossil record of the Quaternary Period (the last 1.6 million years).
References in periodicals archive ?
Most climate researchers do not think that extraterrestrial dust, will provide the answer, but Imbrie, a longtime supporter of the Milankovitch hypothesis, says that Muller and MacDonald's concept may have some merit.
The established theory, called the Milankovitch hypothesis, holds that wiggles and wobbles in Earth's orbit serve as a pacemaker that determines when the planet plunges into a glacial period and when it thaws out of one.