Small Ice Age
The small Age Ice (PAG) is one cold climatic period which has occurred in Europe and North America, of approximately 1550 - 1580 with 1850 - 1860. It is characterized by successive periods of advanced then of maximum of the Glacier S, to which several minima of Température S averages correspond very Nets. It succeeds the medieval climatic Optimum (OCM), one hotter period. However, it is contemporary of a series much longer of cold winters, between S. the small Ice Age was initially regarded as a total phenomenon, but a better knowledge of the medieval climatic optimum came to moderate this assertion.
Origin and persistence of the small Ice Age
Several theories were advanced to explain the existence and especially the persistence of the small Ice Age. The first, based on the discoveries carried out in Stratigraphy, connects the small Ice Age of the years 1800 to the very violent eruption several volcanos, of which the Tambora. It is indeed known that ashes and clouds of dust expelled by a certain type of volcano can clearly decrease the effectiveness of the solar radiation. However, the small Ice Age began as of the 13th century. One second explanation, not necessarily contradictory, would be to find in the activity of the Sun. It seems that it was particularly weak on a good part of the period of the small Ice Age.
The question of the temporal terminals
No exact date achieves the unanimity to mark the beginning of the small Ice Age: several events, more or less old, are quoted like forming part of the small Ice Age potentially, before the date of the proven climatic minimum first. As from the 13th century, the ice-barrier of the northern Atlantique extends towards the south, as well as the glaciers of the Greenland. In 1315 begin three years from torrential rains, one animated period weather starting point which lasts until the 19th century. The advance of the glaciers is attested in several areas of the world during these a few five centuries, but a rebuilding of their progressions starting from measurements of ground shows that they finally remained limited between 1600 and 1850. It is especially the withdrawal of the glaciers at the 20th century which will be spectacular.
Some climatic great events can thus be underlined like benchmarks of a small wide Ice Age of the 13th century in the middle of the 19th century:
- 1250 : beginning of the extension of the Atlantic Icecap in ;
- 1300 : the be S hitherto hot cease being it in a clear way;
- 1315 : Precipitation S constant and Great Famine of 1315-1317;
- 1550 : theoretical beginning of the world expansion of the ices;
- 1650 : first climatic minimum.
The end of the small Ice Age is it fixed in the middle of the 19th century.
Characteristics and impacts
The small Ice Age corresponds concretely to a light climatic cooling - about less 1° C. This reduction can appear weak, but it was sufficient to cause Hiver S rigorous and to slow down the human activities - in particular the agricultural production, in particular at the 17th century. Historical or commercial files, paintings of the time testify to hard and snow-covered winters. In Savoy, one organizes even processions in the hope to entreat the projection of the ices. The paroxysm of cold is reached between the years 1570 and 1730.
The small Ice Age was especially described and comment on in Europe and North America, although other areas of the world were concerned. In the middle of the 17th century, the glaciers of the the Swiss Alps advance quickly, absorbing firm and villages. In England, the the Thames freezes (for the first time in 1607, for the last time in 1814); when well even certain urban developments - Bridge S in particular - could support the phenomenon by blocking the flow of water, the frequency of the event is an good example of the persistence of cooling in Europe. In the same way, the channels and rivers of the Netherlands are moulted in ice at the time of several winters - thus that of 1794/95, during which the French cavalry carried out by Pichegru seizes the Dutch fleet taken in the ices. At the time of the winter of 1780, the river zone of New York ( New York Harbor ) becomes solid: one walks between Manhattan and Staten Island; the connections of trade per sea route are blocked.
All these particularly rigorous winters affected more or less directly and violently the life of the populations.
Southern hemisphereAugust 1st
Historical and cultural elements
The Small Ice Age had an impact real and prolonged on the population, the fauna and the flora of many countries - especially in Europe and North America. It for example is called upon to explain the disappearance of the Norwegian colony of the Greenland. Certain winters sadly remained famous for the number of deaths listed, due to intense cold and famines. Thus, the years 1693 and 1694 see nearly two French million to die under the reign of Louis XIV.
The small Ice Age and arts
The small Ice Age of course was represented in Peinture, mainly through tables of landscapes. A famous example is to be found at Pieter Bruegel Old the and Pieter Bruegel the Young person, painters Flemish of the Renaissance. European painting is rather rich besides with regard to the illustrations of the effects of the small Ice Age on the daily life, whether it is downtown or in the first inhabited valleys.
In her work Weather (1981), William James Burroughs analyzes the pictorial representation of the winter. It notes that the major part of paintings treating this topic were produced between 1565 and 1665, which corresponds to a climatic decline recorded in the ices starting from 1550. Very few winter representations were counted before that; it is probable that the particularly hard winter of 1565 inspired by many artists and the original representations, then that this “fashion” was étiolée with the favor of the increase of the temperatures and owing to the fact that the topic was sufficiently treated. One can note that all paintings of Bruegel the Old one (father of Bruegel the Young person), where snow is often an central element, were realized in 1565. His/her son having made many copies of works of his father, it is difficult to draw the conclusions on the climate of 1570 to 1600 starting from these only paintings. The topics of the small Ice Age appear in Danish painting after the winter of 1608. Between 1627 and 1640, the production is reduced, which corresponds to a light warming of the temperatures. On the other hand, the final decline of paintings treating of the winter does not coincide with a frank improvement of the climatic conditions: Burroughs thus advances that the effect of mode played.
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