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Term: Little ice age Class:  
 vernacular   (0%)
Created 6 June 2017
Last modified 6 June 2017
Contributed by GCW Glossary

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Definition: A period of cooling that occurred from the 16th through the early 19th century, and was marked by expanding glaciers in Europe, North America, and Asia  NSIDCCryosphere 

(1) The period from about 1430 to 1850 AD which was characterized in Europe and North America by a markedly colder climate than the present. (2) A period during which there is a renewal of glacial growth after previous shrinkage or disappearance during the preceding milder megathermal phase.  WMOMeteoterm 

The period of time that led to expansion of valley and cirque glaciers world-wide, with their maximum extents being attained in about 1700-1850 AD in many temperate regions, and around 1900 in Arctic regions.  Swisseduc 

A period between approximately A.D. 1550 (or perhaps as early as 1300) and 1850 in which mountain glaciers advanced in many parts of the world. The precise timing of the advances and retreats varied from region to region. Temperatures were not uniformly colder throughout this period, but rather showed marked variations on decadal timescales.  AMSglossary 

Time period from 1550 to 1850 AD. During this period, global temperatures were at their coldest since the beginning of the Holocene.  PhysicalGeography 

A period of greater glacier mass and extent, relative to the preceding and following periods, with increased glacier thickness and extension to lower altitudes. In different regions of the Earth, in both hemispheres, the Little Ice Age began and ended at different times, beginning as early as about AD 1300 and ending as late as about AD 1900, with one or more glacier advances distinguishable during that period. In many regions the LIA maximum glacier extent was also the maximum extent of the entire Holocene (the past 10 000 years). Gain of mass usually resulted from both enhanced accumulation and reduced ablation. See trimline.  IHPGlacierMassBalance 

An interval during the last millennium characterized by a number of extensive expansions of mountain glaciers and moderate retreats in between them, both in the Northern and Southern Hemispheres. The timing of glacial advances differs between regions and the LIA is, therefore, not clearly defined in time. Most definitions lie in the period 1400 CE and 1900 CE. Currently available reconstructions of average Northern Hemisphere temperature indicate that the coolest periods at the hemispheric scale may have occurred from 1450 to 1850 CE.  IPCC2013 

The most recent interval of temperate glacier expansion and advance on Earth. It began ~650 years ago and continued into the 20th century in many locations. Temperate glaciers in North America, South America, Africa, Europe, and Asia were affected. (Neoglaciation)  USGSGlaciers(ambiguous) 

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