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      The Last Glacial Maximum.

      Science (New York, N.Y.)

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          Abstract

          We used 5704 14C, 10Be, and 3He ages that span the interval from 10,000 to 50,000 years ago (10 to 50 ka) to constrain the timing of the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM) in terms of global ice-sheet and mountain-glacier extent. Growth of the ice sheets to their maximum positions occurred between 33.0 and 26.5 ka in response to climate forcing from decreases in northern summer insolation, tropical Pacific sea surface temperatures, and atmospheric CO2. Nearly all ice sheets were at their LGM positions from 26.5 ka to 19 to 20 ka, corresponding to minima in these forcings. The onset of Northern Hemisphere deglaciation 19 to 20 ka was induced by an increase in northern summer insolation, providing the source for an abrupt rise in sea level. The onset of deglaciation of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet occurred between 14 and 15 ka, consistent with evidence that this was the primary source for an abrupt rise in sea level approximately 14.5 ka.

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          Most cited references 12

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          Calibration of the 14C timescale over the past 30,000 years using mass spectrometric U–Th ages from Barbados corals

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            Climate Impact of Late Quaternary Equatorial Pacific Sea Surface Temperature Variations

             D. W. Lea (2000)
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              A Large Drop in Atmospheric 14C/12C and Reduced Melting in the Younger Dryas, Documented with 230Th Ages of Corals

              Paired carbon-14 ((14)C) and thorium-230((230)Th) ages were determined on fossil corals from the Huon Peninsula, Papua New Guinea. The ages were used to calibrate part of the (14)C time scale and to estimate rates of sea-level rise during the last deglaciation. An abrupt offset between the (14)C and (230)Th ages suggests that the atmospheric (14)C/(12)C ratio dropped by 15 percent during the latter part of and after the Younger Dryas (YD). This prominent drop coincides with greatly reduced rates of sea-level rise. Reduction of melting because of cooler conditions during the YD may have caused an increase in the rate of ocean ventilation, which caused the atmospheric (14)C/(12)C ratio to fall. The record of sea-level rise also shows that globally averaged rates of melting were relatively high at the beginning of the YD. Thus, these measurements satisfy one of the conditions required by the hypothesis that the diversion of meltwater from the Mississippi to the St. Lawrence River triggered the YD event.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                19661421
                10.1126/science.1172873

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