In a History Channel Special about "The Little Ice Age" it showed that there have been different eras of "mini Ice Ages" in our history. They have different theories, such as short term cooling of the sun or volcanoes blocking out the sun etc etc. Either way, they used the special to show how the weather changes lasted for decades and probably led to things like the French Revolution, etc because weather changes distorted crop production and hurt resources etc etc etc They then covered Stradivarius. A scientist led a study where he theorized that "Global Cooling" bred tone woods that sounded "a cut above" the rest. Well apparently Stradivarius was born in 1644, and a volcano or something erupted in 1645 resulting in decades of cooling. When they looked at the woods Stradivarius used, they were from high altitudes where poor soil, cold, etc caused trees to grow slower with more density. A comparitive study of tree rings and Stradivarius violin grain showed that these more "dense" woods were probably the huge contributors to the "tone" of these famous violins. Cool, huh?