The Little Ice Ageimpactsonworldactivity


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The Little Ice Ageimpactsonworldactivity

  1. 1. The Little Ice Age
  2. 2. [Washington Post] Wednesday, August 13, 1997 The Little Ice Age: When Global Researchers also drill into glacial ice at the Cooling Gripped the World poles and on high mountains to obtain records of snowfall, dust and atmospheric chemicals By Alan Cutler contained in the ice. These can give information on temperature, precipitation and The year was 1645, and the glaciers in the even global wind patterns, if the source of the Alps were on the move. In Chamonix at the dust can be determined. Layers within lake foot of Mont Blanc, people watched in fear as sediments, coral reefs and cave formations can the Mer de Glace (Sea of Ice) glacier be analyzed by sophisticated chemical advanced. In earlier years, they had seen the techniques to determine the temperatures at slowly flowing ice engulf farms and crush which they formed. entire villages. LIFE IN THE FRIGID TIME They turned to the Bishop of Geneva for help, and he made the journey to Chamonix. At the From all these data sources, climate ice front he performed a rite of exorcism. researchers have assembled a broad picture of a world that was, on average, one to two Little by little, the glacier receded. But before degrees cooler than it is today. For long the threatening ice returned, and once comparison, during the Pleistocene, when the again the bishop was summoned. The struggle ice cap in eastern North America reached as against the glacier continued for decades. far south as Pennsylvania, the world was about nine degrees cooler. Similar dramas unfolded throughout the Alps and Scandinavia during the late 1600s and Averages, however do not tell the story. The early 1700s, as many glaciers grew farther effects of the Little Ice Age were anything but down mountain slopes and valleys than they uniform. Cooling was much more pronounced had in thousands of years. Sea ice choked (or at least better documented) in the Northern much of the North Atlantic, causing havoc Hemisphere than in the Southern Hemisphere. with fisheries in Iceland and Scandinavia. In some places and some years, winter Eskimos paddled their kayaks as far south as temperatures were colder, but not summer Scotland. At the same time in China, severe temperatures. In France, for example, the winters in Jiang-Xi province killed the last of harsh winter of 1788-89 added to the misery the orange groves that had thrived there for and discontent of the peasants, but Paris centuries. warmed up pleasantly in time for the storming of the Bastille that summer. These and many similar events, bewildering and disruptive to the societies of the time, are Cold and erratic weather patterns produced pieces of a global climatic puzzle that numerous crop failures in northerly areas such scientists and historians today call the "Little as Scotland and Norway. Native American Ice Age." tribes such as the Iroquois relocated their villages to escape the cold. These migrations Throughout the world, from Norway to New stirred up political conflict among tribes, Zealand, glaciers in mountainous areas leading to the creation of nonaggresssion pacts advanced. Elsewhere, particularly in parts of like the famous League of the Iroquois, Europe and North America, temperatures adopted in the 1500s. plummeted and harsh weather set in. It was a time of repeated famine and cultural Perhaps hardest hit were the Norse settlements