Milankovitch mode locking

Fans of the Crucifix and Rougier paper on predicting glacial inceptions may be interested in De Saedeleer, Crucifix, and Wieczorek (2013). This paper looks at the question of how predictable the ice age cycles are, given the Milankovitch cycles. Their simple deterministic model shows mode-locking to the Milankovitch cycles, i.e. the temperature reponse dynamically synchronizes itself to the quasi-periodic forcing. The system exhibits some very complex and interesting-looking basins of attraction in the system's parameter space, e.g. Figs. 6, 12, 13. They find that it's possible for the system to "slip" out of phase with the forcing for 50 ky (half a cycle) or more. This partially addresses some critics of Milankovitch theory who point to certain cycles that don't seem to line up well with the forcing as evidence against the theory.


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