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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 had occurred worldwide with regional and temporal focus in Europe, North America, Russia and China. Before that, in the period from 900 to 1350, there was a pronounced temperature high, mainly in Europe, as the Medieval warm period was designated. At that time the wine-growing border lay much further north in the southern Baltic coast. From 1450, the climate began to deteriorate again. Especially cold periods stretched from 1570 to 1630 and from 1675 to 1715. Associated with this was a worldwide expansion of the glaciers. Around the year 1700 there was the largest ice extent, after which the glaciers retreated slowly again. Incidentally, this retreat is still going on today, with many glaciers in the Alps already completely melted away.


There were always extremely cold, frosty Winter and rainy, strongly rainy summer. The average temperatures were one to one and a half degrees Celsius below today's. Failures in agriculture were the result and the resulting famine threatened the population. This led to several emigration waves, especially to North America. In the 15th century, the Baltic Sea froze completely at least twice. In the winter of 1780 you could cross the harbor of New York on the ice. On the Great Lakes in North America, ice sometimes persisted until June. The year 1816 was particularly extreme in northeastern America and in the west and south of Europe. It went down in history as a "year without a summer" and was therefore popularly referred to in Germany with "Eighteen hundredunderfroren".

Also the viniculture Europe has been hit hard by climate change and there have been many bad harvests and bad harvests vintages, but always through good and outstanding years with even a few Century wines were interrupted. A particularly sour vintage was in Wien under the name Reif biter known. See also under climate. climate Change and Weinbauwürdigkeit,

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