Paleoceanographic reconstructions from the North Atlantic indicate massive ice breakouts from East Greenland near the onset of cold Dansgaard-Oeschger (D-O) stadials. In contrast to these coolings in the North Atlantic area, a new sea-surface temperature record reveals concomitant warm spells in the northern North Pacific. A sensitivity experiment with an atmospheric general circulation model is used to test the potential impact of sea-surface warmings by 3.5C in the North Pacific, on top of otherwise cold stadial climate conditions, on the precipitation regime over the Northern Hemisphere ice sheets. The model predicts a maximum response over East Greenland and the Greenland Sea, where a 40% increase in net annual snow accumulation occurs. This remote effect of North Pacific warm spells on the East Greenland snow-accumulation rate may play an important role in generating D-O cycles by rebuilding the ice lost during ice breakouts. In addition, the increased precipitation over the Greenland Sea may help to sustain the D-O stadial climate state.