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The abrupt termination of the Younger Dryas climate event

Abstract

PREVIOUS studies on two deep Greenland ice cores have shown that a long series of climate oscillations characterized the late Weichselian glaciation in the North Atlantic region1, and that the last glacial cold period, the Younger Dryas, ended abruptly 10,700 years ago2. Here we further focus on this epoch-defining event, and present detailed heavy-isotope and dust-concentration profiles which suggest that, in less than 20 years, the climate in the North Atlantic region turned into a milder and less stormy regime, as a consequence of a rapid retreat of the sea-ice cover. A warming of 7 °C in South Greenland was completed in about 50 years.

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Dansgaard, W., White, J. & Johnsen, S. The abrupt termination of the Younger Dryas climate event. Nature 339, 532–534 (1989). https://doi.org/10.1038/339532a0

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