8.2 Identifying Glacial and Interglacial Periods to Assess the Long-Term Climate History of Earth
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Glacial periods interspersed between interglacial periods occur throughout the long-term climatic history of Earth. Direct and indirect evidence combined with reliable paleogeography and geomorphic reconstructions validate glacial periods. Based upon factors contributing to the complexity of Earth systems, climate models investigate the occurrence and stability of glaciations, and reconcile simulation results with geologic evidence. Continental geography, tectonic movement, CO2 levels, solar constant variation, and Milankovitch cycles complicate glacial history. The processes of climatic modeling reinforce the validation of glacial and interglacial periods based upon using geological evidence to assess the long-term climatic history of Earth. 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.