EGU General Assembly 2007
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  Information - CL29/CL46 Millennial-scale variability / Solar forcing of climate

Event Information
The leading hypothesis, which relates millennial-scale variations in climate to changes in the ocean thermohaline circulation due to freshwater forcing in the North Atlantic, remains a strong candidate for explaining the abrupt climate changes of the last glaciation. However, these ideas do not readily account for the millennial-scale timing of abrupt climate change events, nor for the variability observed during interglacial periods. Alternative hypotheses, proposing that abrupt climate changes may originate in the tropics, or in the Southern Ocean, remain much less well developed, but cannot necessarily be ruled out. The role of solar variability is intriguing but the physical link between weak solar forcing and strong climate response has little theoretical support. Similarly, proposed "cycles" in climate leave unexplained the mechanisms leading to such cycles, and tend to ignore the tremendous amount of noise in all climate records. Thus, a theory of millennial-scale climate variability -- that explains both the amplitude and frequency, as well as the spatial characteristics -- remains elusive.

In this session, we wish to explore progress on developing a more complete theory of millennial-scale climate variability. We welcome contributions from the perspective of data, modeling or statistics, but encourage all submitters to place emphasis on developing a clear theoretical framework. We also encourage submitters to distinguish millennial-scale variability from abrupt climate change, and, where possible, to consider both glacial and interglacial climate.

Preliminary List of Solicited Speakers
O. Marchal, R. Blender, S. Rahmstorf and P. Ditlevsen.


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