vikingpower writes "The Little Ice Age, at the end of the Middle Age and down into the 17th century, may very likely have been caused by the combined effects of four major volcano eruptions and increased sunlight reflection by increaing sea ice, the so-called Albedo effect. Science daily also runs an article on what is probably a discovery, and so does the blog of the prestigious 'Nature'. The University of Boulder, Colorado has a press release with pretty good maps and photographs. Bette Otto-Bliesner, one of the scientists behind the "volcano + sea ice" thesis, fields an earnest warningagainst drawing conclusions too quickly from this research: "‘I think people might look at the Little Ice Age and think that all we need to save us from rising temperatures are some volcanic eruptions or the geo-engineering equivalent [...] But when you see what happened when global temperatures dropped by just one degree and you look at current predictions of six or seven degree increases for the future, you realize how precarious things are for life as we know it.’"" Link to Original Source
"'Tis true, 'tis pity, and pity 'tis 'tis true."
-- Poloniouius, in Willie the Shake's _Hamlet, Prince of Darkness_