October 18, 2018 - 12:00 am
The time since the last ice retreat, the Holocene, is marked by a series of climatic shifts that lasted for decades to centuries. Some appear to be global, while others are largely regional phenomena. One of these was the Medieval Warm Epoch, between 950 and 1350 AD. It’s marked by an expansion of agriculture into higher latitudes and altitudes, but is best remembered for its coincidence with Norse expansion across Europe and the North Atlantic.The period of cooling after the Medieval Warm Epoch known as the Little Ice Age lasted from about 1350 AD to 1850 AD. It was marked by an expansion of glaciers, retrenchment of agriculture and widespread famine in Europe, depopulation in Iceland, and the demise of the Greenland settlements. It was also a time of cultural and economic shifts – the rapid expansion of European influence across the globe, for example. Were the French Revolution and the Irish potato famine products of the LIA?