Volcanoes key to "Little Ice Age"

A new study, led by Gifford Miller at the University of Colorado at Boulder, US, may show that a series of volcanic eruptions around 1300 may have led to the Little Ice Age, which dropped temperatures in Europe in the 1500s.

The scientists studied several sites in north-eastern Canada and in Iceland where ice caps have encapsulated plants, allowing experts a glimpse of climate changes. Their theory states that the volcanoes "blasted huge clouds of sulphate particles into the upper atmosphere" causing ice sheets to form in the Arctic. The cooling occured between 1250 and 1300 and 1430 and 1455.