The groundbreaking history of how climate change transformed Europe and the world, from a renowned archaeologist – updated with a new preface on the latest climate research
The Little Ice Age tells the fascinating story of the turbulent, unpredictable, and often very cold years of modern European history. Using sources ranging from the dates of long-ago wine harvests and the business records of medieval monasteries to modern chemical analysis of ice cores, renowned archaeologist Brian Fagan reveals how a 500-year cold snap began in the fourteenth century. As Fagan shows, the increasingly cold and stormy weather dramatically altered fishing and farming practices, and it shaped familiar events, from Norse exploration to the settlement of North America, from the French Revolution to the Irish potato famine to the Industrial Revolution.
Now updated with a new preface discussing the latest historical climate research, The Little Ice Age offers deeply important context for understanding today's age of global warming. As the Little Ice Age shows, climate change does not come in gentle, easy stages, and its influence on human life is profound.
Professor of Archaeology at the University of California at Santa Barbara, Brian Fagan is the author of Floods, Famines, and Emperors, and The Great Journey and the editor of The Oxford Companion to Archaeology. He lives in Santa Barbara, California.
"[The Little Ice Age] could do for the historical study of climate what Michel Foucault's classic Madness and Civilization did for the historical study of mental illness: make it a respectable subject for scholarly inquiry."
- Scientific American.