Milankovitch cycles: What are they and how do they affect Earth?

Milankovitch cycles are periodic changes in the orbital characteristics of a planet that control how much sunlight it receives, thus affecting its climate and habitability over hundreds of thousands of years.

Although Milankovitch cycles have nothing to do with the current climate change, they are believed to have dictated Earth‘s climate for millions of years, making the planet swing periodically between tens to hundreds of thousands-year long ice ages and warmer periods called interglacials, such as the one we live in.

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