The Little Ice Age Could Offer a Glimpse of Our Tumultuous Future.
BY AMITAV GHOSH
Over the last couple of decades, as the impact of global warming has intensified, the discussion of climate change has spilled out of the scientific and technocratic circles within which it was long confined. Today, the subject has also become an important concern in the humanities and arts.
Discussions of climate tend to focus on the future. Yet even scientific projections depend crucially on the study of the past…
Perhaps the most intensively researched of these periods is the Little Ice Age, which reached its peak between the late 15th and early 18th centuries. This early modern era is of particular interest because some of the most important geopolitical processes of our own time trace back to it.
During part of the Little Ice Age, decreased solar irradiance and increased seismic activity resulted in temperatures that, as Geoffrey Parker writes in Global Crisis, a groundbreaking global history of the period, were “more than 1 [degree Celsius] cooler than those of the later twentieth century.”
The current cycle of human-induced global warming is likely to lead to a much greater climatic shift than that of the Little Ice Age.
Amitav Ghosh is the author of The Great Derangement: Climate Change and the Unthinkable. @GhoshAmitav
H/T to David Middleton writing at Watts Up With That for the Summary
By increased seismic activity I wonder if the author is referring to the volcanos shown in this graphic.