Astronomical theory of climate changes

19/12/2022 - 15:00 - 16:00
Auditório P217, Prédio principal, IAG/USP. Com transmissão pela internet.

Astronomical theory of climate changes

Zoran Knezevic

Serbian Academy of Sciences and Arts
Observatório Astronômico de Belgrado, RS

An overview of Milutin Milankovitch's astronomical theory of climate changes will be presented. Three principal astronomical mechanisms, secular variations of the orbital eccentricity, secular variations of the obliquity of the rotation axis, and the precession of the rotation axis, are briefly discussed and their effects to climate changes explained. Special attention has been paid to the historical development of the ideas regarding the Earth climate changes and the ice ages, and of the associated theories of motion of the Earth, before and after Milankovitch. We also mention difficulties Milankovitch encountered in practical application of the theory and review some evidence used to support the theory. Finally, we give a review of the most important contemporary results which enable further development of Milankovitch's ideas and achievements, revealing in the same time some intrinsic limitations of his approach, stemming from the very nature of motion of the Earth and our still unsatisfactory knowledge of a number of factors that affect its motion.

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