Glacier Extent During the Younger Dryas and 8.2-ka Event on Baffin Island, Arctic Canada

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Science  14 Sep 2012:
Vol. 337, Issue 6100, pp. 1330-1333
DOI: 10.1126/science.1222759

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Greenland ice cores reveal that mean annual temperatures during the Younger Dryas (YD) cold interval—about 12.9 to 11.7 thousand years ago (ka)—and the ~150-year-long cold reversal that occurred 8.2 thousand years ago were ~15° and 3° to 4°C colder than today, respectively. Reconstructing ice-sheet response to these climate perturbations can help evaluate ice-sheet sensitivity to climate change. Here, we report the widespread advance of Laurentide Ice Sheet outlet glaciers and independent mountain glaciers on Baffin Island, Arctic Canada, in response to the 8.2-ka event and show that mountain glaciers during the 8.2-ka event were larger than their YD predecessors. In contrast to the wintertime bias of YD cooling, we suggest that cooling during the 8.2-ka event was more evenly distributed across the seasons.

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