We’re trying to get a little insight into the Earth’s glacial cycles, using very simple models. We have a long way to go, but let’s review where we are.
In Part 5 and Part 6, we studied a model where the Earth can be bistable. In other words, if the parameters are set right it has two stable states: one where it’s cold and stays cold because it’s icy and reflects lots of sunlight, and another where it’s hot and stays hot because it’s dark and absorbs lots of sunlight.
In Part 7 we saw a bistable system being pushed around by noise and also an oscillating ‘force’. When the parameters are set right, we see stochastic resonance: the noise amplifies the system’s response to the oscillations! This is supposed to remind us of how the Milankovich cycles in the Earth’s orbit may get amplified to cause…
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