A Fresh Look at Glacial Floods

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Science  17 May 2002:
Vol. 296, Issue 5571, pp. 1251-1252
DOI: 10.1126/science.1073377

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Over the last 20 years, it has become clear that ice ages are characterized by glacial as well as climatic instability on millennial time scales. In his Perspective, Colman highlights two recent papers investigating the role of glacial meltwater and continental drainage in this instability. The results suggest a fundamental instability feedback between ocean circulation and ice sheet dynamics and provides an explanation for why instability was greatest at times of intermediate ice volume.