Little Ice Age

Little Ice Age

How Climate Made History, 1300-1850

Book - 2000
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Only in the last decade have climatologists developed an accurate picture of yearly climate conditions in historical times. This development confirmed a long-standing suspicion: that the world endured a 500-year cold snap-The Little Ice Age-that lasted roughly from A.D. 1300 until 1850. The Little Ice Age tells the story of the turbulent, unpredictable and often very cold years of modern European history, how climate altered historical events, and what they mean in the context of today's global warming. With its basis in cutting-edge science, The Little Ice Age offers a new perspective on familiar events. Renowned archaeologist Brian Fagan shows how the increasing cold affected Norse exploration; how changing sea temperatures caused English and Basque fishermen to follow vast shoals of cod all the way to the New World; how a generations-long subsistence crisis in France contributed to social disintegration and ultimately revolution; and how English efforts to improve farm productivity in the face of a deteriorating climate helped pave the way for the Industrial Revolution and hence for global warming. This is a fascinating, original book for anyone interested in history, climate, or the new subject of how they interact.
Publisher: New York, N.Y. : Basic : 2000
ISBN: 9780465022717
0465022715
Branch Call Number: 551.694 F131L
Characteristics: 246p illus

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cadboy
Feb 07, 2018

Good description of how Iceland came to be settled, and how Greenland was settled and abandoned. One problem with the book though is that the author refers to the growing of corn in Europe numerous times in the book in pre Columbus years which then brings to mind “how many other error of facts are there?” Despite this, if you have someone who is constantly complaining about the state of the world today, or their own condition, have them read this book, no matter how bad they have it, even if diagnosed with cancer or AIDS, they don’t have it as bad as the typical person back then who had a life expectancy of 24 years according to the author or is this another error of fact? Well it sort of is. Many women died in childbirth, many babies didn’t survive. If you could avoid these two, and the Black Plague or numerous other diseases, being burned as a witch, killed in one of the many wars, … you could live to the ripe age we do today. If I was short on time I'd read about the settling and abandoning of Greenland and just skim the rest.

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walkermom
Aug 17, 2012

An excellent book - really ties together climate and sociology. Why people moved to certain places, why certain crops were grown, and how some of these choices led to disaster when the climate changed again.
Hopefully we can learn some lessons here and plan for future climate change.

i
Iowakid
May 09, 2012

This book was fascinating, in that it showed how people lived during the Middle Ages through Elizabethan times and pre-industrial Europe, struggling in the horrendous conditions of famine, plague, and oscillating weather patterns of freezing cold and terrible rains.

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