Skip to main content

Thank you for visiting nature.com. You are using a browser version with limited support for CSS. To obtain the best experience, we recommend you use a more up to date browser (or turn off compatibility mode in Internet Explorer). In the meantime, to ensure continued support, we are displaying the site without styles and JavaScript.

The ice-core record: climate sensitivity and future greenhouse warming

Abstract

The prediction of future greenhouse-gas-induced warming depends critically on the sensitivity of Earth's climate to increasing atmospheric concentrations of these gases. Data from cores drilled in polar ice sheets show a remarkable correlation between past glacial–interglacial temperature changes and the inferred atmospheric concentration of gases such as carbon dioxide and methane. These and other palaeoclimate data are used to assess the role of greenhouse gases in explaining past global climate change, and the validity of models predicting the effect of increasing concentrations of such gases in the atmosphere.

Access options

Rent or Buy article

Get time limited or full article access on ReadCube.

from$8.99

All prices are NET prices.

References

  1. 1

    Mitchell, J. F. B. Rev. Geophys. 27, 115–139 (1989).

    ADS  Article  Google Scholar 

  2. 2

    Dickinson, R. E. & Cicerone, R. J. Nature 319, 109–115 (1986).

    ADS  CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  3. 3

    Ramanathan, V. Science 24, 293–299 (1988).

    ADS  Article  Google Scholar 

  4. 4

    Schneider, S. Science 243, 771–781 (1989).

    ADS  CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  5. 5

    Hansen, J., Lacis, A. & Prather, M. J. geophys. Rev. 94, 16417–16421 (1989).

    ADS  Article  Google Scholar 

  6. 6

    Hansen, J. et al. Geophys. Monogr. 29, 130–163 (1984).

    Google Scholar 

  7. 7

    Washington, W. M. & Meehl, G. A. J. geophys. Res. 89, 9475–9503 (1984).

    ADS  CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  8. 8

    Wetherald, R. T. & Manabe, S. Clim. Change 8, 5–23 (1985).

    ADS  Article  Google Scholar 

  9. 9

    Wilson, C. A. & Mitchell, J. F. B. J. geophys. Res. 92, 13305–13343 (1987).

    ADS  Google Scholar 

  10. 10

    Schlesinger, M. E. & Zhao, Z. Rep. 70 (Oregon State University, Clim. Inst., Corvallis, 1987).

  11. 11

    Mitchell, J. F. B., Senior, C. A. & Ingram, W. J. Nature 341, 132–134 (1989).

    ADS  Article  Google Scholar 

  12. 12

    Cess, R. D. et al. Science 245, 513–516 (1989).

    ADS  CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  13. 13

    Schneider, S. H. & Mass, C. Science 190, 741–746 (1975).

    ADS  Article  Google Scholar 

  14. 14

    Dickinson, R. E. Clim. Change 15, 5–13 (1989).

    ADS  MathSciNet  Article  Google Scholar 

  15. 15

    Hansen, J. et al. Science 229, 857–859 (1985).

    ADS  CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  16. 16

    CLIMAP Project Members Geol. Soc. Am. Map and Chan series, MC 36 (Geol. Soc. Am., Boulder, 1981).

  17. 17

    Rind, D. & Peteet, D. Quat. Res. 24, 1–22 (1985).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  18. 18

    Harvey, D. D. J. geophys. Res. 94, 12873–12884 (1989).

    ADS  Article  Google Scholar 

  19. 19

    Manabe, S. & Broccoli, A. J. atmos. Sci. 42, 2643–2651 (1985).

    ADS  Article  Google Scholar 

  20. 20

    Dansgaard, W. Johnsen, S. J., Clausen, H. B. & Langway, C. C. Late Cenozoic Glacial Ages (ed. Turekian, K. K.) 37–56 (Yale University Press, 1971).

    Google Scholar 

  21. 21

    Dansgaard, W. et al. Science 218, 1273–1277 (1982).

    ADS  CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  22. 22

    Epstein, S., Sharp, R. P. & Gow, A. J. Science 168, 1570–1572 (1970).

    ADS  CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  23. 23

    Lorius, C., Merlivat, L., Jouzel, J. & Pourchet, M. Nature 280, 644–648 (1979).

    ADS  CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  24. 24

    Barnola, J. M., Raynaud, D., Korotkevitch, Y. S. & Lorius, C. Nature 329, 408–414 (1987).

    ADS  CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  25. 25

    Barnola, J. M., Pimienta, P., Raynaud, D. & Korotkevich, Y. S. Tellus (in the press).

  26. 26

    Lorius, C. et al. Nature 316, 591–596 (1985).

    ADS  CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  27. 27

    Jouzel, J. et al. Nature 329, 403–408 (1987).

    ADS  CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  28. 28

    Genthon, C. et al. Nature 329, 414–418 (1987).

    ADS  CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  29. 29

    Raynaud, D., Chappellaz, J., Barnola, J. M., Korotkevitch, Y. S. & Lorius, C. Nature 333, 655–657 (1988).

    ADS  CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  30. 30

    Chappellaz, J., Barnola, J. M., Raynaud, D., Korotkevitch, Y. S. & Lorius, C. Nature 345, 127–131 (1990).

    ADS  CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  31. 31

    Oeschger, H. & Langway, C. C. (eds) The Environmental Record in Glaciers and Ice Sheets (Wiley, New York, 1989).

  32. 32

    Jouzel, J. et al. Quat. Res. 31, 135–150 (1989).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  33. 33

    Martinson, D. G. et al. Quat. Res. 27, 1–29 (1987).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  34. 34

    Delmas, R. J., Ascencio, J. M. & Legrand, M. Nature 284, 155–157 (1980).

    ADS  CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  35. 35

    Neftel, A., Oeschger, H., Schwander, R. J., Stauffer, B. & Zumbrunn, R. Nature 295, 220–223 (1982).

    ADS  CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  36. 36

    Neftel, A., Moor, E., Oeschger, H. & Stauffer, B. Nature 313, 45–47 (1985).

    ADS  Article  Google Scholar 

  37. 37

    Raynaud, D. & Barnola, J. M. Nature 315, 309–311 (1985).

    ADS  CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  38. 38

    Neftel, A., Oeschger, H., Staffelbach, T. & Stauffer, B. Nature 331, 609–611 (1988).

    ADS  Article  Google Scholar 

  39. 39

    Stauffer, B., Lochbronner, E., Oeschger, H. & Schwander, J. Nature 332, 812–814 (1988).

    ADS  CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  40. 40

    Stauffer, B., Hofer, H., Oeschger, H., Schwander, J. & Siegenthaler, U. Ann. Glaciol. 5, 160–164 (1984).

    ADS  CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  41. 41

    Dansgaard, W., Johnsen, S. J. & White, J. W. C. Nature 339, 532–534 (1989).

    ADS  Article  Google Scholar 

  42. 42

    Zardini, D., Raynaud, D., Scharffe, D. & Seiler, W. J. atmos. Chem. 8, 189–201 (1987).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  43. 43

    Hansen, J. E. et al. J. geophys. Res. 93, 9341–9364 (1988).

    ADS  CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  44. 44

    Berger, A. L. Rev. Geophys. 26, 624–657 (1988).

    ADS  Article  Google Scholar 

  45. 45

    Hays, J. D., Imbrie, J. & Shackleton, N. J. Science 194, 1121–1132 (1976).

    ADS  CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  46. 46

    Imbrie, J. & Imbrie, J. Z. Science 207, 243–253 (1980).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  47. 47

    Pisias, N. & Shackleton, N. J. Nature 310, 757–759 (1984).

    ADS  CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  48. 48

    Saltzman, B. Clim. Dyn. 1, 77–85 (1987).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  49. 49

    Broccoli, A. J. & Manabe, S. Clim. Dyn. 1, 87–99 (1987).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  50. 50

    Broecker, W. S. & Peng, T. H. Global biogeochem. Cycles 3, 215–239 (1989).

    ADS  Article  Google Scholar 

  51. 51

    Dansgaard, W. & Oeschger, H. in The Environmental Record in Glaciers and Ice Sheets (eds Oeschger, H. & Langway, C. C.) 287–318 (Wiley, New York, 1989).

    Google Scholar 

  52. 52

    Hansen, J. Trans. Am. geophys. Un. 70, 43; 100 (1989).

    Google Scholar 

  53. 53

    Rind, D., Peteet, D. & Kukla, G. J. geophys. Res. 94, 12857–12871 (1989).

    ADS  Article  Google Scholar 

  54. 54

    Jenkins, G. M. & Watts, D. G. Spectral Analysis and its Application (Holden-Day, San Francisco, 1983).

    Google Scholar 

  55. 55

    Charlson, R. J., Lovelock, J. E., Andreae, M. O. & Warren, S. E. Nature 326, 665–671 (1987).

    ADS  Article  Google Scholar 

  56. 56

    Petit, J. R., Briat, M. & Royer, A. Nature 233, 391–394 (1981).

    ADS  Article  Google Scholar 

  57. 57

    Petit, J. R. et al. Nature 343, 56–58 (1990).

    ADS  Article  Google Scholar 

  58. 58

    Legrand, M., Delmas, R. J. & Charlson, R. J. Nature 334, 418–420 (1988).

    ADS  CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  59. 59

    Chappellaz, J. thesis, Univ. Sci. Technol. Méd. Grenoble (1990).

  60. 60

    Labeyrie, L., Duplessy, J. C. & Blanc, P. L. Nature 327, 477–482 (1987).

    ADS  CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  61. 61

    Pollard, D. Nature 296, 334–338 (1982).

    ADS  Article  Google Scholar 

  62. 62

    Le Treut, H., Portes, J., Jouzel, J. & Ghil, M. J. geophys. Res. 93, 9365–9383 (1988).

    ADS  CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  63. 63

    Berger, A. et al. Trans. R. Soc. Edinb. (in the press).

  64. 64

    Raval, A. & Ramanathan, V. Nature 342, 758–761 (1989).

    ADS  Article  Google Scholar 

  65. 65

    Schlesinger, M. E. in Climate and Geosciences (eds Berger, A. et al.) 177–187 (Kluwer Academic, Dordrecht, 1989).

    Google Scholar 

  66. 66

    Denton, G. H., Hugues, T. J. & Karien, W. Quat. Res. 28, 3–26 (1986).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  67. 67

    Manabe, S. & Bryan, K. J. geophys. Res. 90, 11689–11707 (1985).

    ADS  Article  Google Scholar 

  68. 68

    Lorius, C. in (eds Berger, A. et al.) Climate and Geosciences, 77–103 (Kluwer Academic, Dordrecht, 1989).

    Book  Google Scholar 

  69. 69

    Lorius, C. & Merlivat, L. IAHS Publn 118, 127–137 (1977).

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  70. 70

    Johnsen, S. J., Dansgaard, W. & White, J. W. C. Tellus B41, 452–468 (1989).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  71. 71

    Jouzel, J. & Merlivat, L. J. geophys. Res. 89, 11749–11757 (1984).

    ADS  CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Affiliations

Authors

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Lorius, C., Jouzel, J., Raynaud, D. et al. The ice-core record: climate sensitivity and future greenhouse warming. Nature 347, 139–145 (1990). https://doi.org/10.1038/347139a0

Download citation

Further reading

Comments

By submitting a comment you agree to abide by our Terms and Community Guidelines. If you find something abusive or that does not comply with our terms or guidelines please flag it as inappropriate.

Search

Quick links

Nature Briefing

Sign up for the Nature Briefing newsletter — what matters in science, free to your inbox daily.

Get the most important science stories of the day, free in your inbox. Sign up for Nature Briefing