Figure 6.3. Variations of deuterium (δD; black), a proxy for local temperature, and the atmospheric concentrations of the greenhouse gases CO2 (red), CH4 (blue), and nitrous oxide (N2O; green) derived from air trapped within ice cores from Antarctica and from recent atmospheric measurements (Petit et al., 1999; Indermühle et al., 2000; EPICA community members, 2004; Spahni et al., 2005; Siegenthaler et al., 2005a,b). The shading indicates the last interglacial warm periods. Interglacial periods also existed prior to 450 ka, but these were apparently colder than the typical interglacials of the latest Quaternary. The length of the current interglacial is not unusual in the context of the last 650 kyr. The stack of 57 globally distributed benthic δ18O marine records (dark grey), a proxy for global ice volume fluctuations (Lisiecki and Raymo, 2005), is displayed for comparison with the ice core data. Downward trends in the benthic δ18O curve reflect increasing ice volumes on land. Note that the shaded vertical bars are based on the ice core age model (EPICA community members, 2004), and that the marine record is plotted on its original time scale based on tuning to the orbital parameters (Lisiecki and Raymo, 2005). The stars and labels indicate atmospheric concentrations at year 2000.