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August 8, 2012

January 1709

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The remarkable cold lingered in Europe for weeks.
Lakes, rivers, and the sea froze over, and the soil solidified a meter deep. The cold cracked open trees, crushed the life out of livestock huddling in stables, and made travel a treacherous undertaking. It was the coldest winter in the past 500 years, and one of the coldest moments in a larger global phenomenon known as the Little Ice Age. Likely causes include volcanic activity, oceanic currents, and/or reforestation due to Black-Death-induced population decline. It is nearly certain, however, that it has something to do with the unusually low number of sunspots that appeared at that time, a phenomenon referred to as the Maunder minimum. -- Better Call Sol • Damn Interesting

Posted by gerardvanderleun at August 8, 2012 10:14 AM. This is an entry on the sideblog of American Digest: Check it out.

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