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Session S15 - Mathematics of Planet Earth

Wednesday, July 14, 19:00 ~ 19:25 UTC-3

Dynamical systems analysis of the Maasch–Saltzman model for glacial cycles

Hans Kaper

Georgetown University, Washington, DC, and Mathematics and Climate Research Network (MCRN), USA   -   This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

The geological record shows great variability of Earth’s climate.  During the Pleistocene Epoch (from approximately 2.6 Myr before present (BP) until approximately 11.7 Kyr BP), continental ice sheets expanded and contracted over significant areas, especially in the Northern Hemisphere. This happened in a more or less cyclical fashion, with periods of approximately 40 Kyr during the early Pleistocene and approximately 100 Kyr during the late Pleistocene.  In this talk I will discuss a conceptual model first presented by Maasch and Saltzman (1990) to explain this persistence of glacial cycles as the result of the interaction of atmospheric carbon dioxide and the strength of the North Atlantic overturning circulation. The model consists of a system of three ordinary differential equations with a rich bifurcation structure.

Joint work with H. Engler (Georgetown University), T.J. Kaper (Boston University) and T. Vo (Boston University, currently at Monash University, Clayton, Victoria, Australia).

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