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Comparison: London And The Little Ice Age

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Comparison: London And The Little Ice Age
London and the ‘Little Ice Age’
There has been a district hint of winter in the London air over the past few weeks. The days are becoming visibly shorter, and the temperature is dropping rapidly. The beginning of December is fast approaching, thus, we are only a few weeks away from the Winter Solstice - the time of the longest night and the shortest day. It is at this point in the year where the dark triumphs, but only briefly. For the Solstice is also a turning point. From then on, the nights begin to grow shorter and the days grow longer. The dark reluctantly wanes and the sun grasps at its chance to show us its true wonders. Christmas is just a little over a month away, with London surrounded by the crisp, frosty air that dances throughout our streets and nips at our toes. Christmas lights appear to be floating in the sky as we stroll along the bustling streets – seemingly hidden by the daylight and yet come alive against the darkness of the night sky. Despite all this, modern British winters in London are far from the winters that London experienced between
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One influence that was thought to have contributed to the harsh cold winters may have been a drop in solar energy. During the period between 1645 and 1715 it was thought that there were little or no sunspots, in other words, regions on the solar surface that appear dark because they are cooler than the surrounding photosphere. This was a time known as the Maunder Minimum. During periods where there are no sunspots, it is thought that the sun is slightly less active. As a result of this, the sun is not warming the earth as much, thus leading to much colder temperatures and hence why people related it back to a possible cause Little Ice Age. However, this study showed that, even if the sun were less active, it would have had little effect on the weather in London during at the time. (Robert Henson,

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