Based on the quantitative study of diatoms and radiolarians, summer sea-surface temperature (SSST) and sea ice distribution were estimated from 122 sediment core localities in the Atlantic, Indian and Pacific sectors of the Southern Ocean to reconstruct the last glacial environment at the EPILOG (19.5-16.0 ka or 23 000-19 000 cal yr. B.P.) time-slice. The statistical methods applied include the Imbrie and Kipp Method, the Modern Analog Technique and the General Additive Model. Summer SSTs reveal greater surface-water cooling than reconstructed by CLIMAP (Geol. Soc. Am. Map Chart. Ser. MC-36 (1981) 1), reaching a maximum (4-5°C) in the present Subantarctic Zone of the Atlantic and Indian sector. The reconstruction of maximum winter sea ice (WSI) extent is in accordance with CLIMAP, showing an expansion of the WSI field by around 100% compared to the present. Although only limited information is available, the data clearly show that CLIMAP strongly overestimated the glacial summer sea ice extent. As a result of the northward expansion of Antarctic cold waters by 5-10° in latitude and a relatively small displacement of the Subtropical Front, thermal gradients were steepened during the last glacial in the northern zone of the Southern Ocean. Such reconstruction may, however, be inapposite for the Pacific sector. The few data available indicate reduced cooling in the southern Pacific and give suggestion for a non-uniform cooling of the glacial Southern Ocean. This study is part of MARGO, a multiproxy approach for the reconstruction of the glacial ocean surface.