Climate Change in the Recent Past

Publication, Climate, Fred Goldberg

  • Rapid climate change is not an unusual phenomenon in our planet’s history. Warmer periods have generally been better for people than cooler ones.
  • During the Medieval Warm Period (MWP), large groups of Norwegians settled in Iceland and Greenland.
  • The MWP allowed European farmers to cultivate crops much further north and at higher elevations than today.
  • Bountiful harvests freed up surplus manpower, which was subsequently tapped to build cathedrals and bridges.
  • When the Earth cooled at the end of the MWP, Europe was hit with a deluge of extreme weather, floods and storms that remade the landscape and killed thousands of people.
  • The Little Ice Age that ensued caused great havoc and, as with the MWP, played a key role in changing Europe’s history.
  • The histories of glacial activity and cloud formation provide further evidence of recent, rapid climate change.
  • When the consequences of rapid global warming are compared with those for rapid global cooling, it’s clear that mankind suffers more harm from the latter.
  • Pdf version (6 pages)