Encyclopedia of Paleoclimatology and Ancient Environments

2009 Edition
| Editors: Vivien Gornitz

Antarctic Cold Reversal

Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4020-4411-3_8

The Antarctic Cold Reversal (ACR) is an event seen in Antarctic ice core proxy climate records in which the warming that occurred between 20,000 and 10,000 years ago, as the Earth emerged from the last glacial period into the present Holocene interglacial, was interrupted by a temporary cooling lasting about 1,500 years between 14,500 and 13,000 ybp).

The transition between the last glacial period and the Holocene is the most recent of a series of major changes in climate that have occurred throughout the Quaternary as the Earth cycled between glacial and interglacial conditions. These cycles, often referred to as Milankovitch cycles after Milutin Milankovitch, the Serbian mathematician who first showed that climate cycles are synchronized with cycles in the Earth’s orbit, are characterized by a sawtooth pattern in which temperature decreases to a minimum over a period of about 90,000 years and then rises to warm or interglacial values within about 10,000 years. Milankovitch cycles are...

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