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Science. 2017 Nov 10;358(6364):781-784. doi: 10.1126/science.aan3001.

Cordilleran Ice Sheet mass loss preceded climate reversals near the Pleistocene Termination.

Author information

1
Natural Resources and Environmental Studies Institute and Geography, University of Northern British Columbia, Prince George, British Columbia V2N 4Z9, Canada. menounos@unbc.ca.
2
Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, Tulane University, New Orleans, LA 70118, USA.
3
Department of Geoscience, University of Calgary, Calgary, Alberta T2N 1N4, Canada.
4
Geomorphology and Glaciology, Department of Physical Geography, Stockholm University, S-10691 Stockholm, Sweden.
5
Department of Earth Sciences, Simon Fraser University, Burnaby, British Columbia V5A 1S6, Canada.
6
Yukon Geological Survey, Whitehorse, Yukon Y1A 2B5, Canada.
7
Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Sciences, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, British Columbia V6T 1Z4, Canada.
8
Geological Survey of Norway, Trondheim 7040, Norway.
9
Department of Geography, Kwantlen Polytechnic University, Surrey, British Columbia V3W 2M8, Canada.
10
Department of Physics and Astronomy and Department of Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Sciences, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN 47907, USA.
11
Department of Earth Sciences, Dalhousie University, Halifax Nova Scotia B3H 4R2, Canada.
12
Bolin Centre for Climate Research, Stockholm University, S-10691 Stockholm, Sweden.
13
Laboratory of Hydraulics, Hydrology and Glaciology, ETH Zürich, Zürich, Switzerland.
14
Department of Earth Sciences, University of Gothenburg, Sweden.

Abstract

The Cordilleran Ice Sheet (CIS) once covered an area comparable to that of Greenland. Previous geologic evidence and numerical models indicate that the ice sheet covered much of westernmost Canada as late as 12.5 thousand years ago (ka). New data indicate that substantial areas throughout westernmost Canada were ice free prior to 12.5 ka and some as early as 14.0 ka, with implications for climate dynamics and the timing of meltwater discharge to the Pacific and Arctic oceans. Early Bølling-Allerød warmth halved the mass of the CIS in as little as 500 years, causing 2.5 to 3.0 meters of sea-level rise. Dozens of cirque and valley glaciers, along with the southern margin of the CIS, advanced into recently deglaciated regions during the Bølling-Allerød and Younger Dryas.

Comment in

PMID:
29123066
DOI:
10.1126/science.aan3001

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