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As the climate warmed at the end of the last glacial period, a rapid reversal in temperature, the Younger Dryas (YD) event, briefly returned much of the North Atlantic region to near full-glacial conditions. The event was associated with climate reversals in many other areas of the Northern Hemisphere and also with warming over and near Antarctica. However, the expression of the YD in the mid- to low latitudes of the Southern Hemisphere (and the southwest Pacific region in particular) is much more controversial. Here we show that the Waiho Loop advance of the Franz Josef Glacier in New Zealand was not a YD event, as previously thought, and that the adjacent ocean warmed throughout the YD.