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Maunder Minimum
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Science Direct

Cause of Global Climate Changes

D.J. Easterbrook, in Evidence-Based Climate Science (Second Edition), 2016


1.3 Maunder Minimum

The Maunder Minimum is the most famous cold period of the Little Ice Age. Temperatures plummeted in Europe (Figs. 14.3–14.7), the growing season became shorter by more than a month, the number of snowy days increased from a few to 20–30, the ground froze to several feet, alpine glaciers advanced all over the world, glaciers in the Swiss Alps encroached on farms and buried villages, tree-lines in the Alps dropped, sea ports were blocked by sea ice that surrounded Iceland and Holland for about 20 miles, wine grape harvests diminished, and cereal grain harvests failed, leading to mass famines (Fagan, 2007). The Thames River and canals and rivers of the Netherlands froze over during the winter (Fig. 14.3). The population of Iceland decreased by about half. In parts of China, warm-weather crops that had been grown for centuries were abandoned. In North America, early European settlers experienced exceptionally severe winters.


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