The Little Ice Age, the climatic background of present-day warming in Europe

M. Oliva


The Little Ice Age (LIA) constitutes the coldest period of the last millennia in Europe. A wide range of natural and historical records show evidence of colder climate conditions between the 14th and 19th centuries, together with a higher frequency of extreme hydroclimatic events. During these centuries, temperatures and precipitations showed different spatio-temporal patterns across Europe. This Special Issue includes eleven scientific works focusing on the climate regime, environmental dynamics as well as socio-economic implications of the LIA in Europe. Besides, this paper also identifies key guidelines for future research on the LIA causes and its consequences on environmental systems in the European continent.


Little Ice Age; Europe; climate; natural records; historical documents

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