Dictionary of Human Evolution and Biology

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Milankovich Orbital Forcing Hypothesis

Proposal that solar radiation is a function of the interaction of the changing orbits of the earth and the sun; the fundamental variables include eliptical precession, tilt, and eccentricity of the earth. Proposed in 1920 by M. Milankovich, the hypothesis states that glacial-interglacial cycles are driven by periodic changes in July insolation at 65 N, and are caused by predictable variations in the earth’s orbit. Aka Milankovich orbital cycles, Milankovich mechanism, wave hypothesis, orbital forcing theory.

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