The Unknown Causes of The Little Ice AgeThe little ice age was a period when the climate dipped by 4 degrees through the 14 th and19th century. Scientists do not know the cause for the little ice age. However there are verymany different theories that it was because the suns radiation was not penetrating theearth because of sun spots. Other scientists believe it is because of the weak oceanconveyer belt that began flowing toward the glaciers because the water was losing itssalinity due to the fresh water causing it to be more dense. The BBC article shows thatscientists saw the fluctuations in carbon dioxide by looking at pollen and leaf sediment.One of the more obvious evidences is that within that time frame 5 volcano eruptionsoccurred by far the largest eruption by Krakatoa which caused the sky to fill with ash andsulfuric acid which today scientists have found in polar ice caps. The results of the little iceage effected mankind’s survival during that time period; history was shaped by the littleice age. This “Little ice age with a big chill” helps us better prepare ourselves in casehistory should repeat itself.
The Chilly Effects on HistoryWinters were extremely cold, and because the majority of people depended ontheir crops which were mainly grains and cereals they did not withstand the heavyrain fall and ice cold winters. Their plantations diminished. Many had formed poornutrition and died from diseases such as the bubonic plague and from starvation.The chaos was blamed on witches and many were burned at the stake, the CatholicChurch advocated this needing someone to blame. Trade was impossible to achievebecause the shores were filled with thick ice. It is noted in the documentary thatpeople could walk across from Manhattan to Brooklyn in New York that is how thickthe ice was. The little ice age however aided in many historic warfare andinventions. Grapevines froze and wine could not be produces in northern Italy.Therefore beer, hard liquor, and whiskey compensated and till today it remains theprimary drinks instead of wine.
Creativity From MiseryThe French Revolution was etched by the little ice age as well as victories and defeats in warefare as it was with the Spanish whose ships froze in the crossings in the war with England.The ice age at the same time aided George Washington win Independence, and it pushedthem to travel further into the America’s. The little ice age also taught them to eat thingsthey normally would not such as the potato which was brought over by the Spanish and wasnot effects by fire, rain, or ice. The potato was a consistent food, but many Europeansconsidered it the devils food, and the French for example refused to eat it while the Irishplanted the easiest cultivated potato’s but those type were very susceptible to disease, andthus the Irish potato famine struck and killed millions. The mudroom minimum which wasthe coldest time began one year before the birth of Stradivarius, and it is believed thatbecause the tree rings were so thin in the Italian cold Alps, that is probably why his Violin hasthe most sweetest resonant sound produced due to the cold that effect the wood duringthat time. The writer Mary Shelly wrote the book Frankenstein because she was inspired bythe weather.
Works Cited• Little Ice Age: Big Chill- Documentary Film• Ravilious Kate, Europes chill linked to disease-BBC Article