There’s a good article by Ralph Ellis online about ice-age: Albedo regulation of Ice Ages, with no CO2 feedbacks. I’m on the move today, so I can’t do much, but quickly scanning it I note he reaches the same conclusion about the lack of CO2 effect (but with number). Instead he suggests changes to albedo. Also he notes that more than a strict cycle is needed (hence the caterpillar – which forms a kind of “trigger” which is trigger by small increases in temperature from Milankovitch.
I would like to suggest two ways his ideas on Albedo could be linked to the Caterpillar, but first a quick resume of the caterpillar theory. The Caterpillar theory is really just a restatement of basic science. If the surface of the earth warms, it expands. If it expands, then there is increased forces which cause some rocks to be subducted into the earth where they are heated and decompose releasing various constituents, such as CO2, H2O, lighter rock material, etc. which “bubble up” to the surface and are then vented in volcanoes.
And this caterpillar effect could change albedo in two ways:
- That volcanic dust emitted in the warming phase leads to changes in albedo of ice-gaps
- That CO2 – and the plant-nutrient effect it has, allows more plant grow in drier regions (plants can tolerate drier climates with higher CO2 because less stomata are needed so less evaporation for the same level of CO2 uptake). And plants also reduce Albedo.