What is it about?

We use climate model simulations to study astronomically-paced climate cycles in the warm greenhouse climate of the supercontinent Pangea from 230 to 190 million years ago. With this, we identify drivers of climatic changes recorded in lake sediments of the Newark–Hartford Basins of the eastern United States. We show how the combination of astronomical forcing and the plate tectonic drift as well as fluctuating atmospheric pCO2 could have caused the reconstructed cycles and trends.

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Why is it important?

The glacial cycles of the last 3 My demonstrate the fundamental control of astronomical variations on Earth’s climate system. Our work helps to understand how this important mechanism caused global climate change in the ancient past, but also in possible future warm climate states.


Our study is one of the first published applications of the newly developed CLIMBER-X Earth system model. This particularly fast model provides many opportunities to study past, present and future climate processes on long time scales.

Jan Landwehrs
Universitat Wien

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This page is a summary of: Modes of Pangean lake level cyclicity driven by astronomical climate pacing modulated by continental position and p CO2, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, November 2022, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, DOI: 10.1073/pnas.2203818119.
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