The Little Ice Age and Climate Change Today Essay

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The Little Ice Age and Climate Change Today
Roland Ward
ES117-2A-77: Natural Disasters
8 December 2012
Keith Earnshaw

Abstract The little ice age gave us a glimpse as to how climate change can affect our society. This is especially important today as we stand on the brink of another environmental catastrophe. The acceleration of greenhouse gas output has irrevocably changed how mankind affects the environment. The lessons that we can learn from studying the little ice age may lead us to understanding what we can do stop this process.
Keywords: Climate change, volcanic eruption, global cooling, Maunder minimum

The Little Ice Age and Climate Change Today Few things can give us a glimpse …show more content…

It removes the time needed for adaptation and causes a great loss of life in the process. Globally, millions due to the direct and indirect influences of the little ice age. Every major death event and war during this period from the black plague to Napoleon’s failed campaign into Russia, the French revolution, and the Irish potato famine are tied to the little ice age. The little ice age was preceded by a warmer wetter period that allowed people to become reliant on certain crops and weather patterns for their survival. Several events occurred within a short period of time to start this cooling period that lasted 500 years. The warm period called the medieval maximum actually set events in motion. It is hypothesized that this warm period melted global ice packs, introducing a large volume of fresh water into the ocean interrupting the thermohaline flow. This stopped warm water from reaching the northern climates and therefore the atmosphere grew colder because of this. The second circumstance was the Maunder Minimum. This is a period of dormancy for sunspots. This results in less radiation reaching earth and less warmth available. The third event was actually a series of events. Volcanic eruptions started with a regularity of five major eruptions every century. This put a large amount of ash and water vapor into the atmosphere which in turn reflected the sunlight, deepening the cooling

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