(Aka DO events)
Abrupt warming events that are followed by a gradual cooling. According to evidence derived from Greenland ice cores and analyzed by Willi Dansgaard and Hans Oeschger, there were at least twenty of these events during the last ice age.
Since this theory was proposed, others scientists such as Gerard Bond have argued that these events occur approximately every 1500 years. For example, according to this line of thought the Little Ice Age becomes the cold part of a Dansgaard-Oeschger cycle, thus putting us presently in a period of warming climate. To read the complete paper, click here.
The politics of Dansgaard-Oeschger Events
The events have polical significance because some skeptics have claimed that the current warming might in fact just be part of another Dansgaard-Oeschger Event. To read an example of this line of argument by Fred Singer, click here.
1. For a more detailed analysis of these events and how they are probably part of a phase relationship between Greenland and Antarctic temperatures, click here to read a Real Climate post on the issue.
Example Usages -
1. "The smallest major climate transition we know of are the Dansgaard-Oeschger events, which on average take about 1,500 years for a full cycle. They average 8-10 degrees C in something like a few years to a decade or so, with outliers running up to 16 degrees C. We have evidence of D-O events dating back some 680 million years. There have been 24 of them since we first popped onto the scene. The last one may have been the Younger Dryas (look it up)."
(Source: BBC Earthwatch )