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Little ice age

small ice age (GB)
petit âge glaciaire (F)
pequeña edad de hielo (ES)
piccola era gla (I)
pequena Idade do gelo (PO)
kleine ijstijd (N)

Term for a relatively long-lasting climate phenomenon from 1450 to 1850, which occurred worldwide with regional and temporal focuses in Europe, North America, Russia and China. Before that, there had been a pronounced temperature high in Europe in the period 900 to 1350, which as Medieval warm period was designated. The winegrowing border was much further north on the southern Baltic coast. From 1450 the climate began to deteriorate again. Particularly cold periods spanned from 1570 to 1630 and from 1675 to 1715. Linked to this was a worldwide expansion of the glaciers. The greatest ice extent occurred around 1700, after which the glaciers slowly retreated. Incidentally, this retreat is still ongoing today, and many glaciers in the Alps have already completely melted away.


There were always extremely cold frosty Winter and rainy, heavily rainy summers. The average temperatures were one to one and a half degrees Celsius below today's. This resulted in poor harvests in agriculture and the resulting famines threatened the population. This led to several waves of emigration, especially to North America. In the 15th century, the Baltic Sea completely froze at least twice. In the winter of 1780, New York Harbor could be crossed on ice. On the Great Lakes in North America, the ice sometimes persisted until June. The year 1816 was particularly extreme in northeastern America and in western and southern Europe. It went down in history as a “year without a summer” and was therefore known in Germany as “eighteen hundred hundreds”.

Also the viniculture Europe has been badly affected by climate change and there have been many poor harvests with bad and over acidic ones vintages, but always through good and outstanding years with some Century wines were interrupted. A particularly acidic vintage was in Wien under the label Reif biter known. See also under climate. climate Change and Weinbauwürdigkeit,

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