A cold period that lasted from about A.D. 1550 to about A.D. 1850. This was the coldest period in about 1,500 years. There are many records - both scientific and historic that substantiate this. This period was marked by rapid expansion of mountain glaciers, especially in the Alps, Norway, Ireland, and Alaska. There were three maxima, beginning about 1650, about 1770, and 1850, each separated by slight warming trend.
- During the Little Ice Age, the River Thames froze over, the Dutch improved the ice skate and the great artists of the day learned to love a new genre: the winter landscape.
During the 1600s, the sun's activity declined to a point known as the Maunder minimum.
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- Torneträsk tree-ring width and density ad 500–2004: a test of climatic sensitivity and a new 1500-year reconstruction of north Fennoscandian summers (Climate Dynamics, January, 2008) - Håkan Grudd
- Tree-ring and glacial evidence for the medieval warm epoch and the little ice age in southern South America (Climatic Change, vol. 26, nos. 2-3, March, 1994) - Ricardo Villalba