Ice Ages are known for lasting several hundred million years. So, the very term – Little Ice Age really makes no sense. However, that is the term that has conventionally been used in scientific literature since 1939. Interestingly, despite its namesake, the event was not really an Ice Age in true sense. So, what was it? What really happened? When did it happen? Why did it happen? In this article titled 30 interesting Little Ice Age facts, we will try to answer those questions.
Interesting Little Ice Age Facts: 1-10
1. Little Ice Age or LIA is used to refer to a period when the Northern Hemisphere experienced sudden and abrupt cooling.
2. There is no unanimous agreement on the exact date of LIA. Some reports say that LIA started in 16th century and lasted till 19th century, while some others say that it started somewhere about 1300 CE and continued till 1850 CE.
3. Irrespective of the fact that no exact date can be pinned down, it is agreed that the Little Ice Age was an event after Medieval Warm Period and the current warming period we are living in.
4. Modern research by NASA revealed that there were at least 3 significant cooling phases. The first phase began somewhere in 1650, the second significant phase began somewhere in 1770 and the finally the last significant phase started somewhere in 1850.
5. Today it is suggested that the cooling or the LIA was not a result of increased glaciation at a global scale but was rather a result of changes in regional climates that took place independently.
6. The LIA was a result of unexpected expansion of mountain glaciers in areas that included Alaska, southern Andes, New Zealand, and European Alps.
7. The average temperature dropped by 1.1 degrees Fahrenheit or 0.6 degree Celsius..
8. As far as the affects of LIA are concerned, a number of things happened. To begin with, several parts of North America and Europe started experiencing colder winters.
9. During mid 17th century, villages and farms were completely wiped out by the advancing glaciers.
10. Netherlands and Great Britain experienced colder winters where temperature drops were enough to freeze rivers and canals with ice sheets thick enough to support uninterrupted winter festivals as well as ice skating.