Little Ice Age began with a bang

Frozen moss suggests climate cooling kicked off fast, possibly with help from volcanoes

By Devin Powell, 17:11 PM February 3, 2012

The Little Ice Age, a centuries-long spell of cold summers in Europe and elsewhere, began suddenly late in the 13th century, a new study finds. A string of volcanic explosions may have set off this change in climate by belching particles that reflected sunlight and allowed Arctic sea ice to reach epic proportions, researchers report online January 31 in Geophysical Research Letters.

“We’ve been able to identify the beginning of the Little Ice Age, something that’s been very difficult to do...

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