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Jean-Michel Carozza, Benoît Devillers, Nick Marriner and Christophe Morhange
p. 11-13
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1 - The Little Ice Age : an ambiguous term
2 - Research on the LIA in the Mediterranean can be articulated around four broad questions:

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1 - The Little Ice Age : an ambiguous term

The term petit âge de glace (PAG) is the literal translation of the English ‘Little Ice Age’ (LIA). During the past 20 years, the Little Ice Age has emerged as a topic of major research focus spanning such fields as paleoecology, environmental history and climate history (Fig. 1). Despite its widespread usage, no formal definition exists and the term is characterized by a number of ambiguities.

Firstly, the Little Ice Age (LIA) was initially used to describe the late 19th century AD and the glacial floods that impacted the main mountain ranges of both Europe and North America (MATTHEWS and BRIFFA, 2005; WOODWORD, 2014). It was only later that the term was extended to encompass a longer period corresponding to a cold phase in Europe and North America, expressed, for instance, by the expansion of glaciers (LAMBS, 1965; LEROY‑LADURIE, 1967). Although the term was initially used to describe a process, it has graduall...

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Electronic reference

Jean-Michel Carozza, Benoît Devillers, Nick Marriner and Christophe Morhange, « Foreword », Méditerranée [Online], 122 | 2014, Online since 19 June 2016, connection on 20 November 2017. URL :

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About the authors

Jean-Michel Carozza

Lecturer, GEODE, Cnrs, Mirail’s University, Toulouse, France,

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Benoît Devillers

Lecturer in Géography physique, Montpellier 3 University, UMR 5140,

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Nick Marriner

Researcher, CNRS, Chrono-environnement Laboratory, UMR 6249, University of Franche-Comté, Besançon France,

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Christophe Morhange

Professor of Geography, Aix-Marseille Université, CEREGE UMR 7330,

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