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          Institute: MPI für Meteorologie     Collection: Climate Processes     Display Documents

ID: 267075.0, MPI für Meteorologie / Climate Processes
Did humankind prevent an early glaciation? Comment on Ruddiman’s hypothesis of a pre-historic anthropocene
Authors:Claussen, M.; Brovkin V., V.; Calov, R.; Ganopolski, A.; Kubatzki, C.
Date of Publication (YYYY-MM-DD):2005
Title of Journal:Climatic Change
Start Page:409
End Page:417
Review Status:Peer-review
Audience:Experts Only
External Publication Status:published
Document Type:Article
Affiliations:MPI für Meteorologie/Land in the Earth System (2005-)
External Affiliations:Recently, W.F. Ruddiman (2003, Climatic Change, Vol. 61, pp. 261–293) suggested that the anthropocene, the geological epoch of significant anthropospheric interference with the natural Earth system, has started much earlier than previously thought (P. I. Crutzen and E. F. Stoermer, 2000, IGBP Newsletter, Vol. 429, pp. 623–628). Ruddiman proposed that due to human land use, atmospheric concentrations of CO2 and CH4 began to deviate from their natural declining trends some 8000 and 5000 years ago, respectively. Furthermore, Ruddiman concluded that greenhouse gas concentrations grew anomalously thereby preventing natural large-scale glaciation of northern North America that should have occurred some 4000–5000 years ago without human interference. Here we would like to comment on (a) natural changes in atmospheric CO2 concentration during the Holocene and (b) on the possibility of a Holocene glacial inception. We substantiate our comments by modelling results which suggest that the last three interglacials are not a proper analogue for Holocene climate variations. In particular, we show that our model does not yield a glacial inception during the last several thousand years even if a declining trend in atmospheric CO2 was assumed
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