We present a high-resolution record from a late glacial–Holocene land-snail succession from southeast England. Temperature estimates, derived from the best analogue technique, indicate a cooling trend, between 14 500 and 12 600 calendar years before present (cal yr B.P.) of 4 °C in summer and 8 °C in winter preceding the Younger Dryas event. The intense warming following the Younger Dryas stadial corresponds to increasing values of the same magnitude in 600 yr. A cooling event, weaker than the Younger Dryas, of 1 °C in both seasons is recorded between 8000 and 8500 cal yr B.P. These reconstructions from a European Holocene continental sequence are in agreement with fluctuations already described in North Atlantic and Mediterranean cores, ice cores, and African and Tibetan lake records.

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