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A leading hypothesis to explain abrupt climate change during the last glacial cycle calls on fluctuations in the margin of the North American Laurentide Ice Sheet ( LIS), which may have routed fresh water between the Gulf of Mexico (GOM) and the North Atlantic, affecting North Atlantic Deep Water variability and regional climate. Paired measurements of delta O-18 and Mg/Ca of foraminiferal calcite from GOM sediments reveal five episodes of LIS meltwater input from 28 to 45 thousand years ago (ka) that do not match the millennial-scale Dansgaard-Oeschger warmings recorded in Greenland ice. We suggest that summer melting of the LIS may occur during Antarctic warming and likely contributed to sea level variability during marine isotope stage 3.

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Paleoceanography, v. 21, no. 1, article PA1006.