The last ice age began to wane about 18,000 years ago. Path “E” in Figure 10.1 shows that there was a moderate increase in solar input to high northern latitudes starting about 18,000 years ago that could be interpreted as contributing to the end of the last ice age, although this increase in solar input was not as great as it was in several previous cycles. Solar input to high northern latitudes has been decreasing since about 11,000 years ago but, as yet, there is no sign of any cooling effect. It remains far from clear whether, and how much, changes in solar input to high northern latitudes induce ice ages and interglacials. However, Stott et al. (2007) found evidence that the terminations of recent ice ages appear to have originated in the southern hemisphere.
KeywordsGlobal Warming Southern Oscillation Index Thermohaline Circulation High Northern Latitude Medieval Warm Period
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