Recent studies of lake-level fluctuations during the last deglaciation in eastern France (Jura Mountains and Pre-Alps) and on the Swiss Plateau show distinct phases of higher water level developing at the beginning and during the latter part of Greenland Stade 1 (i.e. Younger Dryas event) and punctuating the early Holocene period at 11,250–11,050, 10,300–10,000, 9550–9150, 8300–8050, and 7550–7250 cal yr B.P. The phases at 11,250–11,050 and 8300–8050 cal yr B.P. appear to be related to the cool Preboreal Oscillation and the 8200 yr event assumed to be associated with deglaciation events. A comparison of this mid-European lake-level record with the outbursts from proglacial Lake Agassiz in North America suggests that, between 13,000 and 8000 cal yr B.P. phases of positive water balance were the response in west-central Europe to climate cooling episodes, which were induced by perturbation of the thermohaline circulation due to sudden freshwater releases to oceans. This probably was in response to a southward migration of the Atlantic Westerly Jet and its associated cyclonic track. Moreover, it is hypothesized that, during the early Holocene, varying solar activity could have been a crucial factor by amplifying or reducing the possible effects of Lake Agassiz outbursts on the climate.