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Name _______________
Date _____________


Bank On It! Worksheet

Planet Earth

Work Bank

Earth's      which      which      variations      to      ago,      with      this      extinctions.      during      Sun.      precession.      nearly      relationships      million      combination      change      which      rare      axis         


Scientists have long studied how ____________ in Earth's orbit relate to ice ages, cycles of glacier building and retreat, and even mass ____________ New research has uncovered some surprising ____________ among all these things. About 23 ____________ years ____________ a huge ice sheet spread over Antarctica, temporarily reversing a general trend of global warming, decreasing ice volume and ushering in a generally calm climatic period. The new study suggests ____________ period corresponded with a ____________ ____________ of events in the pattern of ____________ trek around the ____________ The idea that cyclical variations in Earth's orbit can cause major climate changes was first proposed by astrophysicist Milutin Milankovitch. The main variables are eccentricity, obliquity and ____________ Eccentricity refers to the changing shape of Earth's orbit around the Sun, ____________ varies from ____________ circular to elliptical over a cycle of about 100,000 years. Obliquity refers ____________ the angle at ____________ Earth's ____________ is tilted ____________ respect to the plane of its orbit, varying between 22.1 degrees and 24.5 degrees over a 41,000-year cycle. Precession is the gradual ____________ in the direction Earth's axis is pointing, a 21,000-year cycle ____________ ____________ the axis carves out an imaginary cone shape.


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