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History -- History Sunday Little Ice Age: Big Chill

4.6 out of 5 stars 20 customer reviews

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(Jul 17, 2008)
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Editorial Reviews

Not so long ago, civilization learned that it was no match for just a few degrees drop in temperature. Scientists call it the Little Ice Age--but its impact was anything but small. From 1300 to 1850, a period of cataclysmic cold caused havoc. It froze Viking colonists in Greenland, accelerated the Black Death in Europe, decimated the Spanish Armada, and helped trigger the French Revolution. The Little Ice Age reshaped the world in ways that now seem the stuff of fantasy--New York Harbor froze and people walked from Manhattan to Staten Island, Eskimos sailed kayaks as far south as Scotland, and two feet of snow fell on New England in June and July during "the Year Without a Summer". Could another catastrophic cold snap strike in the 21st century? Leading climatologists offer the latest theories, and scholars and historians recreate the history that could be a glimpse of things to come. Face the cold, hard truth of the past--an era that may be a window to our future.

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Product Details

  • Producers: Hearst
  • Format: NTSC
  • Region: All Regions
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Studio: A&E Television Networks
  • DVD Release Date: July 17, 2008
  • Run Time: 100 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B001CUB97U
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #89,843 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
I just watched this program on the History Channel and was fascinated. In this age of interest and causes of climate change and the impact it can have on our lives, this program explains a lot. It talks about the impact on history and society and in the last 10 minutes addresses thoughts on the future. However, it has no difinitive causes(s) for the mini-ice age and shows there is much still to learn - and it gives no definite scenario to our future, just possibilities and potentials. Definitely a thought provoking program!
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I watched this program on TV and was so fascinated by this previously unknown to me event that I wanted to purchase the DVD. The program isn't preachy about 'climate change'; it's just an extraordinary peak into the not so distant past. I also purchased the book "The Little Ice Age: How Climate Made History" by Brian Fagan. Also a great read.
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Amazing story of the Little Ice Age, about 1100-1850 AD. This era followed the Great Warming which itself led to a flourishing of European civilization. Because of the extreme change, Greenland may not have been a Viking real estate scam. after all. The giant island may have had a more generous border of greenery during the Great Warming which froze in the centuries following, isolating Viking settlers from resupply from Iceland, threatening their fishing by an southern-expanding ice pack, and, ultimately, dooming the colony of legendarily tough people. The Little Ice Age had other effects, such as insuring that Americans grew up a beer-drinking rather than wine-drinking people. The documentary also points out how the Year Without a Summer in the early 1800's resulted from this trend, compounded by major volcanic eruptions ...which may have had more impact on weather change than is usually credited. This History Channel special report is very illuminating and makes a good case for the Little Ice Age.
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I was so impressed with this program that I bought the DVD for my grandson. It underscores how intertwined weather and history truly are and makes the subject come to life. Well done!
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Saw this on the History channel recently ... immediately following the TV view went on line and ordered this DVD for my file. VERY interesting period in earths history ('who knew' experience watching it). Recommend
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Format: DVD
Summer 1816--northern Europe. The summer never came. Percy and Mary Shelly pass their "summer" vacation inoors writing scary stories. Result: Frankenstein. New England was hit with snow in June (5 days) and some more in July. Crops died. Birds fell out of the sky, frozen to death. Lots of people head west to get out of New England. Cause of the weather: a volcano that erupted halfway around the world 14 months before. This event happened around 40 years before the end of the Little Ice Age, which had been going on for around 500 years.

Average increase in temperature was around 4 degrees. So many consequences from seemingly minimal change. 150 years later, we're now warming up. What will happen next?

You learn a lot about history but you don't realize how this climate change was responsible for so many of its outcomes. Extremely fascinating movie, and believe me, you don't have to be a science whiz to enjoy it.
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By neicee on September 26, 2013
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
also has the Black Death DVD in it. very good DVD. I will watch it again and again. gives a preview of what we might have to face by looking at the past.
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Format: DVD
I did like this documentary, especially because it did not continue rehashing same tired facts every fifteen or twenty minutes to bring the viewer up to date on current and relevant events it had already brought to our attention. Omitted certain important facts, however. Facts like the mini-ice age's responsibility for being the cause of the demise of the Viking civilization. And also the reason the island of Greenland, once a lush and fertile land overgrown with trees and grass and populated with people and animals during the great warming, has since become a barren wasteland covered in thick layers of ice and snow, incapable of supporting any type of plant or animal life. Otherwise, even though there are better books on the subject, for a video, it is a captivating documentary.
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