The beginning of the Bølling-Allerød warm period was marked in Greenland ice by an abrupt rise in δ18O, an abrupt drop in dust rain, and an abrupt increase in atmospheric methane content. The surface waters in the Norwegian Sea underwent a simultaneous abrupt warming. At about this time, a major change in the pattern of global rainfall occurred. Lake Victoria (latitude 0°), which prior to this time was dry, was rejuvenated. The Red Sea, which prior to this time was hypersaline, freshened. Lake Lahontan, which prior to this time had achieved its largest size, desiccated. Whereas the chronologic support for the abruptness of the hydrologic changes is firm only for the Red Sea, in keeping with evidence obtained well away from the northern Atlantic in the Santa Barbara Basin and the Cariaco Trench, the onset and end of the millennial-duration climate events were globally abrupt. If so, the proposed linkage between the size of African closed basin lakes and insolation cycles must be reexamined.