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The waning of the little ice age

  • Morgan Kelly
  • Cormac Ó Gráda

The ramifications of the Little Ice Age, a period of cooling temperatures straddling several centuries in northwestern Europe, reach far beyond meteorology into economic, political, and cultural history. The LIA has spawned a series of resonant images that range from frost fairs to contracting glaciers, and from disappearing vineyards to disappearing Viking colonies. This paper takes issue with these images, and argues that the phenomena they describe can be explained without resort to climate change.

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Paper provided by School of Economics, University College Dublin in its series Working Papers with number 201211.

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Date of creation: Apr 2012
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ucn:wpaper:201211
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  1. Seaver, Kirsten A., 2009. "Desirable teeth: the medieval trade in Arctic and African ivory," Journal of Global History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 4(02), pages 271-292, July.
  2. Bruce M. S. Campbell, 2010. "Nature as historical protagonist: environment and society in pre-industrial England," Economic History Review, Economic History Society, vol. 63(2), pages 281-314, 05.
  3. Orley Ashenfelter & Karl Storchmann, 2010. "Using Hedonic Models of Solar Radiation and Weather to Assess the Economic Effect of Climate Change: The Case of Mosel Valley Vineyards," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 92(2), pages 333-349, May.
  4. Emily Oster, 2004. "Witchcraft, Weather and Economic Growth in Renaissance Europe," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 18(1), pages 215-228, Winter.
  5. Jean-Michel Chevet & Sebastien Lecocq & Michael Visser, 2011. "Climate, Grapevine Phenology, Wine Production, and Prices: Pauillac (1800-2009)," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 101(3), pages 142-46, May.
  6. Vincent Barnett, 2006. "Chancing an interpretation: Slutsky's random cycles revisited," The European Journal of the History of Economic Thought, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 13(3), pages 411-432.
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