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A strategy for frequency spectra of quaternary climate records


The paleoclimatic variability at frequencies ranging from 10−4 cycle per year (cpy) to 10−5 cpy is investigated using a set of four deep-sea cores from the Atlantic, Pacific and Indian Oceans. Dominant features are the presence of orbital frequencies corresponding to mean periods of 117.7, 43.6, 24.9 and 19.3 kyr. These are statistically significant according to such advanced spectral tools as Blackman-Tukey, maximum entropy and the highly efficient Thomson technique. However, the main purpose of this paper is methodological, describing the statistical analyses of time series with modern methods in order to stress their relative power, advantages and disadvantages. The more advanced statistical methods confirm the coincidence of the dominant periods in the deep sea cores and those in the astronomical elements, including combination tones. Three frequency bands of high paleoclimatic variability centred at 15.4, 13 and 10.8 kyr are indeed also detected. These two last periods are very close to those predicted by the climatic non-linear model of Ghil and Le Treut and found by Pestiaux et al. and Yiou et al.

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Correspondence to Andre Berger.

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Berger, A., Melice, J. & Hinnov, L. A strategy for frequency spectra of quaternary climate records. Climate Dynamics 5, 227–240 (1991).

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  • Entropy
  • Indian Ocean
  • Frequency Band
  • Frequency Spectrum
  • Relative Power