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    Resources: 1000 Year Time Scale


Here are some resources that you can use that relate to the 1000 year time scale.

Long Term Perspective on Drought

Other Paleoclimate Perspectives

Human Dimension



What was the Little Ice Age?
Image of Bruegel's Hunters in the Snow
The Little Ice Age (or LIA) refers to a period between 1350 and 1900 when temperatures in the Northern Hemisphere were between 1.0 and 2.0°C cooler than at present. A NASA website that provides details on current research reports that "during the Little Ice Age, access to Greenland was largely cut off by ice from 1410 to the 1720s. At the same time, canals in Holland routinely froze solid, glaciers advanced in the Alps, and sea-ice increased so much that no open water was present in any direction around Iceland in 1695." (See Shindell, 2001).

It is clear that Europe and particularly Iceland and the Alps were hit hard, especially between 1645 and 1715 A.D. during the Maunder Minimum (Eddy, 1983 ), a period of depressed solar activity. There is also recent evidence from ice caps in the South American Andes that temperatures were also cooler in that region as well during much of the period. (Thompson, 1986).

Prior to the Little Ice Age, there was a period now called the "Medieval Warm Period" (MWP) from 900 to 1300 A.D. A recent study by Esper, et. al., 2002 suggests that their analysis of tree ring chronologies allows the "Medieval Warm Period" (MWP) to be described and compared with 20th-century warming shown in modeling and attribution studies." However, contemporaries such as Michael Mann suggest that their analysis is flawed and that multiple paleo proxies provide a more accurate perspective on how current temperatures compare with previous warm periods. Also see The Past 100 Years: Putting the 20th Century in Perspective for more.

  • How many generations are there in 1000 years? How many generations back can you track your ancestry?
  • It is estimated that there were a total of 254 million people on the entire Earth in the year 1000, and over 6 billion in the year 2000. If there were an average of four generations each century, how many children were born during each generation?

  • What are some of the factors that have lead to such an increase in population between 1000 A.D. and 2000 AD?
Image of Hunters in the Snow, 1565, by Pieter Bruegel the Elder from Museum of Metropolitan Art.

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