The magnitude of late Wisconsinan (post-35,000 yr B.P.) ice-sheet growth in the Northern Hemisphere is not well known. Ice volume at ???35,000 yr B.P. may have been as little as 20% or as much as 70% of the volume present at the last glacial maximum (LGM). A conservative evaluation of glacial-geologic, sea level, and benthic ??18O data indicates that ice volume at ???35,000 yr B.P. was approximately 50% of that extant at the LGM (???20,000 yr B.P.); that is, it doubled in about 15,000 yr. On the basis of literature for the North Atlantic and a sea-surface temperature (SST) data compilation, it appears that this rapid growth may have been forced by low-to-mid-latitude SST warming in both the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, with attendant increased moisture transport to high latitudes. The SST ice-sheet growth notion also explains the apparent synchroneity of late Wisconsinan mountain glaciation in both hemispheres.
Additional publication details
The magnitude and proximate cause of ice-sheet growth since 35,000 yr B.P.