Global mass and energy requirements for glacial oscillations and their implications for mean ocean temperature oscillations
Conservation equations for water in all forms and thermodynamic energy are developed for the complete atmosphere-hydrosphere-lithosphere-cryosphere system, allowing the possibility for temporal variations of all significant components of the system that may be involved in long term climate changes. Using these equations we find an integral constraint on the fluctuations of the mean, mass-averaged, ocean temperature that accompany glacial fluctuations. Some possible inferences are discussed based on speculations concerning the variations of the net radiative flux at the top of the atmosphere. For one plausible qualitative estimate of the processes involved it is determined that the mean global ocean temperature should be increasing during the period of growth of ice coverage, reaching a maximum sometime after the time of maximum ice extent and a minimum sometime after the interglacial, a result that is in substantial accord with the ice-age mechanism discussed by Newell.