Global climate during the Quaternary has been deeply influenced by glacial-interglacial oscillations. As a result, the Earth has experienced alternations between warm and stable climatic periods – coinciding with interglacials, and cold and highly variable climatic intervals – coinciding with glacials. In a suborbital timescale, climate oscillations were maximal during glacial onsets and, very especially, during deglaciations. Previous deglaciation events were associated with diverse changes in earth’s atmospheric, physical and biotic environments and an examination of such interrelationships requires the establishment of a competent temporal framework. Accordingly, chapter one examines dating methods that can be used to provide temporal constraints to continental deglaciation events. To illustrate the range of considerations that could accompany a deglaciation dating study, the chapter also gives a brief outline of a case study conducted in western Canada to constrain the Late Pleistocene retreat of the Laurentide Ice Sheet from the region. Chapter Two reports on the influence of deglaciations in the mid-latitude European climate. Chapter Three aims to highlight the influence of global and regional paleoceanographic changes on the deglaciation of the marine based Barents ice sheet since the last glacial maximum (LGM) until the onset of marine environment in the Holocene. (Nova)
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