Climate & History – The Little Ice Age By: Rebecca Krogstad History 141
What Was The Little Ice Age? <ul>The Little Ice Age refers to a time in history when the world experienced what sounds like an insignificant drop in temperature but caused significant changes in the climate. Although this time of cooling was not as drastic as the original Ice Age it seems to have had a much larger effect on the world. This change in climate left most of the world devastated if not completely destroyed. The Little Ice Age helped mold the world we live in today and it is believed by some that we are gearing up for round two. </ul>Left: The most recent data published showing the temperature change during the Little Ice Age.
When Did This All Happen? <ul>The Little Ice Age is believed to have started during the 16 th century and continued on until the 19 th century. There is no exact date of when it started but there are speculations that it could have started as early as the 12 th century after the Medieval Warm Period which ended sometime in the 12 th century. During the 4 centuries that The Little Ice Age stretched across there were three notable times when the temperatures were to be at their lowest, 1650, 1770, and 1850. </ul>Since the start date of The Little Ice Age is still not completely known and weather records were not accurately kept until the past couple centuries Researchers study cores of the earth like the ones shown here to understand the weather during The Little Ice Age.
How Did This Effect History? <ul>The Little Ice Age made many contributions to history. Whole populations were destroyed and saved by the weather during this time. Powerful countries suffered and populations were devastated. Wars were waged and lost all because of the climate change. The Vikings went from being a strong and feared force to being completely wiped out because they could not adapt to the intense climate change. Disease and famines spread throughout countries claiming millions of lives. Those thought to be witches were burned at the stake after being blamed for the terrible change in weather. When countries were invaded or attacked more often than not the country most adapted to the shift in weather won, such was the case for Napoleon and his army when the attempted to take over Russia. </ul><ul>In my opinion had this not taken place the world would be much different than it is today. Perhaps America would not be the strong country that it is today and the countries that are super powers today would not be. What we eat and drink would be different and we would perhaps even fight our wars a little differently. </ul>
Will It Happen Again? <ul>Some believe that it is not only possible for another Little Ice Age to occur but that we are working towards one as we speak. Perhaps the time we live in right now is the equivalent to the Medieval Warm Period. If this sort of world wide change was to occur I believe that it will cause serious disruption to our everyday lives and to our nation. However, with the invention of modern medicine and technological advances I feel as though it is something we could overcome. </ul>
Sources <ul><li>"Little Ice Age: Big Chill." Little Ice Age: Big Chill . The History Channel. 3 Oct. 2006. Television.
"New Paper Finds Temperature Drop During The Little Ice Age Was Twice As Much As Prior Estimates." Welcome to The Global Warming Policy Foundation. Web. 6 July 2011. <http://www.thegwpf.org/science-news/3153-new-paper-finds-temperature-drop-during-the-little-ice-age-was-twice-as-much-as-prior-estimates.html>.
Tarm, Michael. "The Napoleon Graves." Baltics Worldwide . Web. 6 July 2011. <http://www.balticsworldwide.com/the-napoleon-graves/>.
Wikipedia contributors. "Little Ice Age." Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, 10 Jul. 2011. Web. 10 Jul. 2011. </li></ul>