Frozen birds and flooded towns: How Britain grappled with climate change 500 years ago

Frost fair

Natural climate variation has always been, and still is, a fact of life, regardless of minor changes to trace gases in the atmosphere.
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Extreme weather not just a modern phenomenon as study reveals how British towns experienced drastic climate during ‘Little Ice Age’
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Extreme weather caused by global warming is one of the biggest threats facing the world today, claims the Daily Telegraph.

However, a research project has thrown light on the catastrophic climate shift endured by England just a few centuries ago, which brought snowstorms that lasted weeks, flooding which washed away entire villages and winds that sank flotillas of ships.

From the 1500s to the 1700s, England went through an unusually cold and stormy period, nicknamed the Little Ice Age, which was possibly caused either by reduced activity from the sun, volcanic eruptions or atmospheric changes.

The strange climatic shift happened before weather was accurately monitored, so Western University in Canada has trawled through diaries, chronicles and political treatises to find out exactly what happened and map the areas worst hit. It makes for sobering reading.

“The material that we’ve been gathering is totally different from anything that’s been gathered,” said Prof Madeline Bassnett, the director of the project.

On one catastrophic day, Oct 5 1570, the team uncovered dozens of anecdotes recounting widespread devastation following violent storms.

In Yarmouth on the Isle of Wight, an innkeeper and his son were swept away along with their home, which was deposited six miles away in an “inhospitable marsh”.

On the same day, Holinshed’s Chronicles detailed how the “whole towne” of Mumby, Lincolnshire was lost to rising floodwaters “except three houses”.

Full article here.

via Tallbloke’s Talkshop

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April 18, 2022 at 03:51AM

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