The last glacial period was punctuated by abrupt, millennial-scale climate changes that contain useful information about the rate at which the climate can change from one state to another. Improvement in our knowledge of the temporal and spatial character of these rapid climate changes is important for understanding their causes and effects, and provides essential observational information for modeling studies. Here, we expand the coverage of terrestrial climate records during the last glacial period, and present a series of high-resolution stalagmite records from a cave in the northern Alps (central Europe) covering parts of the period 65-35 ka (before A.D. 1950). The climatic pattern revealed by the stalagmite temperature-controlled δ18O profiles strongly resembles that of Greenland ice cores on millennial scales, and also corresponds to the detail of decadal-scale cooling events within interstadials. This demonstrates for the first time a strong climatic similarity and/or coupling between the two regions during Marine Isotope Stage 3 (MIS 3). Furthermore, an overall long-term agreement between the northern European Alps stalagmite chronology (NALPS) presented here, and the Greenland Ice Core Chronology 2005 modelext (GICC05modelext), suggests that the central value of the Greenland chronology may be slightly too young, possibly as a result of an undercounting of layers in a younger section of the core, and that the uncertainty on the Greenland chronology may be overestimated. The synchronicity displayed here between Greenland and central Europe, especially during the period 65-49 ka, is crucial for our understanding of climate-system teleconnections that existed during the last glacial period, and will be important for developing mechanisms of abrupt climate events.
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© 2014 Geological Society of America.