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Climate & History: The Little Ice Age

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  • 1. Tiffany Jacobs
    Climate & History: The Little Ice Age
    HIST 141 (#71154)
    Climate & History: The Little Ice Age
  • 2. What Was the Little Ice Age?
    Period of reduced global temperatures
    Followed a warm period
    During the warm period, polar ice and glaciers melted and affected the balance in the ocean
    The temperature change of the ocean changed the weather patterns
    An era of cataclysmic events
    It wasn’t the decrease in
    temperature that created the problem
    It was the change from what was
    considered normal that was
    devastating
    Reshaped world and affected
    significant historical events
    Destroyed Spanish armada
    French Revolution
    Tiffany Jacobs
    Climate & History: The Little Ice Age
    HIST 141 (#71154)
  • 3. When Did The Little Ice Age Occur?
    Followed the “Medieval Warm Period”
    Also known as the “Little Climate Optimum”
    This was a time of unparalleled farming & trade
    Building spree and unprecedented growth
    14th-19th centuries: Little Ice Age
    Began around 1300, near dawn of 14th century
    An unexpected and currently unseasonable chill settled on land
    Drop of 2-3 degrees Centigrade; 4 degrees Fahrenheit cooler
    Humans are alarmingly vulnerable to smallest drops in temperature
    The forces that definitely caused the Little Ice Age are a mystery
    Most believe it was not isolated event
    Tiffany Jacobs
    Climate & History: The Little Ice Age
    HIST 141 (#71154)
  • 4. What Was Its Effect on History?
    Millions of people died as a direct and indirect result of the Little Ice Age
    Over 1.5 Million perished due to great famine
    Parents abandoned children in the woods
    Most died of famine related diseases not starvation
    More vulnerable to Bubonic Plague “Black Death”– in 1347 (trading ships returning from Asia)
    Bubonic Plague, when it subsided in 1351, 25 million had died (1/3 of population)
    Plague was made worse by weakness, confinement due to the weather, and infestation of rats
    The invincible Vikings were humbled by the Little Ice Age
    Fertile farmlands were destroyed – mostly cereal crops
    Loss of crops resulted in increase in crime & rise of the potato
    1.5 million Irish died during the Irish Potato Famine
    Volatility of climate affected French Revolution, American Revolution, French-Spanish wars
    Many think we are in the midst of another global warming period that could lead to another Ice Age
    Tiffany Jacobs
    Climate & History: The Little Ice Age
    HIST 141 (#71154)