2016-03-02. Characterizing Interglacial Periods over the Past 800,000 Years.

posted Mar 5, 2016, 2:11 PM by Alan Gould
By Cody Sullivan, Earth & Space Science News (EoS, AGU). For GSS Life and Climate chapter 10. Excerpt: Researchers identified 11 different interglacial periods over the past 800,000 years, but the interglacial period we are experiencing now may last an exceptionally long time. ...glacial cycles, consisting of cold ice ages and milder interludes, typically lasted about 40,000 years—but those weaker cycles gave way to longer-lasting icy eras with cycles lasting roughly 100,000 years. In between the cold ice ages are periods of thawing and warming known as interglacial periods, during which sea levels rise and ice retreats. ...Although most interglacials typically last about 10,000 to 30,000 years, the researchers suggest that the current epoch—the Holocene—may last much longer because of the increased levels of atmospheric greenhouse gases resulting from human activity. The authors predict that this current interglacial period won’t give way to a glacial period for another 50,000 years or so. The only way the current interglacial could end earlier is if CO2 levels were reduced to well below preindustrial levels....  https://eos.org/research-spotlights/characterizing-interglacial-periods-over-the-past-800000-years