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Earth’s climate has undergone different intervals of gradual change as well as abrupt shifts between climate states.

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As a tool, we use a 35-m.y.-long δ record compiled from different high-resolution benthic isotope records spliced together (what we refer to as a megasplice).

We analyze the climate response to astronomical forcing during four 800-k.y.-long time windows. 15.5 Ma), global climate variability was mainly dependent on Southern Hemisphere summer insolation, amplified by a dynamic Antarctic ice sheet; 2.5 m.y.

A large difference in East Antarctic ice volume thus exists between the two time windows depicted in Figure 2.

Nevertheless, the δ), however, differs markedly between the two time windows (Figs. The MMCO is a period with a low global ice volume and the isotopic response to eccentricity-modulated precession is intense; the lightest δ values occur when eccentricity is high and Earth reaches perihelion in January (Fig. The heaviest isotope values occur at low eccentricity.

Likewise, we juxtapose response regimes of the Miocene (ca. While Miocene warmth occurs during summer insolation maxima in both hemispheres, Oligocene global warmth is consistently triggered when Earth reaches perihelion in the Northern Hemisphere summer. 1121) conclusively identified astronomical insolation forcing as the so-called “pacemaker of the Ice Ages.” From then on, deciphering the imprint of astronomical climate forcing in geologic archives of past climates became an indispensable part of paleoclimatology and paleoceanography (Hinnov and Hilgen, 2012).

This pattern is in accordance with previously published paleoclimate modeling results, and suggests an amplifying role for Northern Hemisphere sea ice. Astronomical-scale climatic changes are recorded in δO of benthic foraminifer tests reflects a combination of temperature state and size of Earth’s cryosphere at the time of their formation.

Arctic sea ice, however, may have played a central role in positive feedback mechanisms, through its albedo as well as through its effect on deep-water formation and ocean conveyor circulation.

At the same time in the Southern Hemisphere, the Antarctic continent was still heavily glaciated.

world (0.8–0 Ma) and the obliquity world (1.8–1.0 Ma). 1) and thus represents a climate state with an expanded East Antarctic ice sheet (Flower and Kennett, 1994; Wright et al., 1992).

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