Not by Fire but by Ice


Discover What Killed the Dinosaurs . . . and Why it Could Soon Kill Us


The Little Ice Age and Scotland


26 Apr 09 –  The BBC acknowledged today that that the Sun is now the dimmest in almost a century, and that a similar ‘quiet spell’ is connected to a period of cooling associated with a lack of sunspots called the Maunder Minimum.

Also known as the Little Ice Age, the cooling lasted 70 years from 1645 to 1715, and coincided with some of the most dramatic events in Scottish history.

Temperatures in Scotland during the Little Ice Age were 1.5C to 2C cooler than they are today. In the summer, this shortened the growing season, devastated staple crops, and led to severe famines.

     Please note: It doesn’t need to be all that much colder to affect food supplies.

In his book Climate History and the Modern World, the late Prof H.H. Lamb estimated that two-thirds of the population died through cold and starvation, with the surviving children sold into slavery. The fall in temperature and worsening weather hit the country harder than Black Death, the world renowned climatologist Lamb concluded.

According to Dr Tony Pollard, director of the Centre for Battlefield Archaeology at the University of Glasgow, bouts of depopulation of the Highlands and Islands can be linked to the extreme weather of the time.

 "We have what were called the Seven Ill Years from 1695 to 1702 when there were major crop failures,” said Dr. Pollard.

Landowners' rent demands were often paid in produce rather than hard cash, said Pollard. The drops in rental were possibly a reaction to crop failures due to bad weather.

An increase in cattle rustling in the Highlands and the Borders may also have been associated with the colder climate, said Pollard.

"If there was a crisis in arable farming,” Pollard said, “stealing the neighbour's cattle must have been appealing."

See entire interesting article by Steven McKenzie.
Thanks to John Brown in Ardrossan, Scotland, for this link





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