- Tokyo Geographical Society
- 地学雑誌 (ISSN:0022135X)
- vol.102, no.2, pp.183-195, 1993-04-25 (Released:2010-11-18)
Natural disasters in Little Ice Age (c. 1550-1850) and its climatic variations which formed a significant background for the disasters are mentioned. Cool summers due to a prevailing Okhotsk High were characteristic of this period. Cold winters, summer heavy rains and unstable atmospheric conditions also constituted essential features of Little Ice Age. Aerosol ejected by a series of major volcanic eruptions partly prevented solar radiation from reaching the earth' s surface (parasol effect), which resulted in cool and unusual weather. Agriculture, in particular, was vulnerable to bad weather damage. As a result of decreasing direct insolation, sometimes together with lowering temperature and/or locally increasing precipitation, seven major famines occurred during the Edo Era (1663-1868) which approximately coincided with Little Ice Age. Several cases in this paper suggest that natural environment in Little Ice Age was marked by both volcanism and weakened solar activities which “Maunder Minimum”(1645-1715) represented.