Environmental history is an interesting thing.
Click on this link
(http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Little_Ice_Age) to learn more about the Little Ice Age.
A lot of the science is still unsettled about the scope and duration of the cooling, but the Dutch knew something was going on. Embedded in the Tweet above, a popular genre picture depicting people on the iced canals.
Of course cooling was not without consequences. A February workshop (http://www.ruralhistory.eu/newsletter/2015/rhn-2015-011) to be held in Bielefeld, Germany will explore incidences of famine provoked by the Little Ice Age.
I will post a protocol of the workshop as soon as it becomes available.