Paintings, sunspots and frost fairs: Rethinking the Little Ice Age

It was hot and cold…who knew? 😝

Watts Up With That?

The whole concept of the ‘Little Ice Age’ is ‘misleading’, as the changes were small-scale, seasonal and insignificant compared with present-day global warming, a group of solar and climate scientists argue.

Explanations for the cooling to Earth’s climate, thought to have occurred between the 16th and 19th centuries, include low solar activity, volcanic eruptions, human changes to land use and natural climatological change.

But in a new paper in Astronomy & Geophysics, the house journal of the Royal Astronomical Society, Professor Mike Lockwood, of the University of Reading, and his collaborators, note that the temperature shift was smaller than that seen in recent decades resulting from the emission of greenhouse gases, and that although low solar activity may have been one driving factor, it certainly was not the only one.

Professor Lockwood said: “Commentators frequently refer to the Little Ice Age in discussions on climate change. We wanted to…

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