chapter  18
51 Pages

Consequences of the Little Ice Age Climatic Fluctuation

ByJean M. Grove

Climate is one of the principal environmental controls of living organisms, temperature being the factor of greatest biological significance. The ecological impact of Little Ice Age climate on woodland near the treeline has been demonstrated by detailed studies of spruce morphology and regeneration in the Bush Lake area of northern Quebec. The trickle of literature on climatic change, its causes, chronology and biological consequences, has grown to a flood too great for any single person to keep up with advances in all the different fields into which it has diversified. The impact of climatic change on society is inevitably coincident with that of many other factors, social, economic and political, which also influence the human condition. Climate is most influential in areas marginal for agriculture either latitudinally or altitudinally. The relative importance of climate fluctuation and human intervention in the area has yet to be satisfactorily disentangled.