Putting the Younger Dryas cold event into context

Wallace S. Broecker, George H. Denton, Larry Edwards, Hai Cheng, Richard B. Alley, Aaron E. Putnam

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

224 Scopus citations


The Younger Dryas event is by far the best studied of the millennial-scale cold snaps of glacial time. Yet its origin remains a subject of debate. The long-held scenario that the Younger Dryas was a one-time outlier triggered by a flood of water stored in proglacial Lake Agassiz has fallen from favor due to lack of a clear geomorphic signature at the correct time and place on the landscape. The recent suggestion that the Younger Dryas was triggered by the impact of a comet has not gained traction. Instead, evidence from Chinese stalagmites suggests that, rather than being a freak occurrence, the Younger Dryas is an integral part of the deglacial sequence of events that produced the last termination on a global scale.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1078-1081
Number of pages4
JournalQuaternary Science Reviews
Issue number9-10
StatePublished - May 2010

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Copyright 2010 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.


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