Climate cycles

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Climate cycles are natural trends in which temperatures fluctuate on large time-scales. It can range from minor fluctuations over a few centuries to massive shifts in climate over thousands of years.

Using proxy data from various natural sources (including deuterium content in ice cores, calcium content and thickness of sea shells and tree ring growth data) we can establish that these cycles do exist, and that they occur for several reasons, perhaps the most prominent of which are the Milankovitch cycles.

However, whilst the variation over large time-scales is extreme (deviating from the long-term average by as much as ten degrees Celsius at a time), the changes are usually very gradual and take place over many millennia.

See also