Climate and History: The Little Ice Age Ashley Rubio HIST 141
What was the Little Ice Age? The Little Ice Age was a small change in temperature that resulted in extreme volatile climate shift spanning multiple regions of the Earth.
Theories of the Little Ice Age Volcanic Activity: When a volcano erupts two things happen to effect temperature on the Earths surface. #1- The ash that is released enters the atmosphere and envelops the Earth preventing the sun’s radiation to warm the surface #2- Sulfur released during an eruption acts as a reflector of the sun’s rays from the Earth’s surface. This theory becomes proven further in 1815 when Mount Tambora erupted spanning nearly the entire atmosphere causing “The Year Without a Summer” in 1816 where frost was frequent in areas well into the months of June and July. Oceanic Conveyor: Believed to be disrupted when large amounts of fresh water were introduce post the Medieval Warm Period in the North Atlantic.
When did the Little Ice Age occur? The Little Ice Age lasted from the 14th-19th centuries First documented catastrophe occurred in 1315 in the region between the European Mountains and the Idlect. The region experienced frequent and heavy rainstorms over a period of 5 years that wiped out all dependable crops 1.5 million peasants died due to hunger and famine. The coldest intervals of time within the multiple century span being 1650, 1770, and 1850. Between the years of 1645 and 1715 the Earth witnessed its coldest ear of the Sun known as the Maunder Minimum.
Negative effects of the Little Ice Age Famine and Related Diseases: In 1315 torrential downpour washed away all crops in European regions leading to 1.5 million death as result of hunger and famine within a 2 year period. In 1347 as a result of harsh cold outdoors, indoor shelter became shared by all humans and in most cases rodents seeking warmth leading to the Bubonic Plague. By 1357 25 billion, a third of the population had parish. In 1601, nearly 500,000 Russian people had died due to hunger and families began sacrificing young children to survive. Giving the origin to the story of Hansel and Gretel.
Negative Effects Cont. Outcomes of War: In 1588 the Spanish Armada fought against the English where 21,000 Spanish soldiers were killed mostly due to the harsh conditions of their retreat back. On the voyage back through the Atlantic most of the their ships were wrecked. Accepting that the victory was not solely due to the English’s efforts a commemorative coin was issued crediting the outcome, “God breathe and the enemy scattered”. In 1776, George Washington lead his troops on a surprise attack against the Hessians but were met with large caps of ice crossing the Delaware river.
Positive/Surprising Effects of the Little Ice Age Music The Stradivarius Violin was made in 1644 by Antonio Stradivari There has yet to be another replica made to match its perfection Theories to the make of this violin dates back to during the Little Ice Age and it is believe that the wood used was unlike any other due to its dense and slow growth as a result of the weather of its time. Beer and Liquor In the 14th century, during the Little Ice Age, grape vines were destroyed in Northern Europe making the production of wine impossible forcing these societies to relay on the wheat and grain crops. From these they primarily drank beer and liquor which they brought with them when immigrating to America.
Sources Documentary film Little Ice Age Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Little_Ice_Age