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Global Climate Changes During the Little Ice Age

WANG Li guo 1, ZHONG Wei 2, LI Cai 1(1. College of Resources and Environmental Sciences, Xinjiang University, rümqi Xinjiang 830046, China; 2. Department of Geography, South China Normal University, Guangdong Guangzhou 510631, China)  
The climate since 1500 A.D. has been highlighted in the field of global change. Recently, some studies, such as PAGES and WCRP, have opened up broad prospect for the detailed high-resolution climatic records, such as tree-rings, corals and ice-cores etc. More attention is focused on the global climate changes on the basis of paleoclimate information of annual-to-millennial time scales. Especially, the climate of the Little Ice Age(LIA), which may be regarded as a short-scale neoglacial episode or a series similar to the climate change from glacial period, is a very important time stream and have an important role in studying the variations of atmospheric circulation and environment and climate in regional or global extent, and in establishing scientifically contemporary climate matrix. Based on historical documents, dendroclimatic data and ice core records from Europe, Asia, North America, South America and Antarctica since the LIA, a synthetic analysis of the paleoclimatic information is made in this paper. The main results are given as follows: (1) The general tendency of global cold-warm change since the LIA exhibits a consistency in a certain degree, with a high spatial and temporal variation. There were strong cold periods in the 17th and 19th centuries and a strong warm period in the 1920's-1940's. (2) Because of apparent allocation difference between oceans and continents, there is a prominent distinction in the effect of atmospheric circulation patterns, radiation balance of underlying surface and abrupt events on regional and global climate. The strength of circulation systems between Atlantic, Arctic and Pacific, which have different power and duration, has different influence on the global climate change since the LIA from coast to continental interiors of Eurasia. Meanwhile, the uplift of the Tibetan Plateau further increases the regional difference and deeply influences global climate changes. (3) The large-scale effects of solar activity, violent volcanic eruptions and EL Nino events on ocean-atmospheric mechanism play a pivotal role in the global climate system. Especially, solar activity is the main factor affecting the global climate changes since the LIA. Those changes are further influenced by atmospheric circulation system enhanced by violent volcanic eruptions and EL Nino events.erentpowerand
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