Putting the Younger Dryas cold event into context

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

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

156 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 1 2010

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Global and Planetary Change
  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Archaeology
  • Archaeology
  • Geology

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    Broecker, W. S., Denton, G. H., Edwards, R. L., Cheng, H., Alley, R. B., & Putnam, A. E. (2010). Putting the Younger Dryas cold event into context. Quaternary Science Reviews, 29(9-10), 1078-1081. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.quascirev.2010.02.019