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Hot start to the Little Ice Age

Plant samples preserved underneath these outlet glaciers on Baffin Island in the Canadian Arctic led National Science Foundation-funded researchers to conclude that the Earth’s Little Ice Age began in 1275 and was triggered by repeated volcanic eruptions that cooled the atmosphere. Their findings were the first to suggest a specific start to this cold period. They suggest the “little chill” started with a 50-year episode of four massive tropical volcanic eruptions. The interplay of sea ice and ocean originating in the North Atlantic likely kept summers cold following the eruptions.

Visit Website | Image credit: Gifford H. Miller, INSTAAR, University of Colorado Boulder