It has been known for over a century that the Earth has experienced repeated glaciations. Further, shortly after this discovery was made, it was proposed that these glaciations were paced by cyclic changes in the Earth’s orbit. However, because modifications in the Earth’s orbital characteristics do not change the amount of solar energy received annually at any location on the planet, but only its distribution among the seasons, it is difficult to understand how these modifications could drive glacial cycles. Could the reflectivity of the glaciers themselves be responsible for the 5 °C or so of glacial cooling of the...

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