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Global cooling was a supernatural disaster brought about by the Fourth Trumpet Judgment, a little shy of two years into the Tribulation.

An unknown atmospheric phenomenon caused all radiation incoming from the sun, the moon, and the stars to be cut by a third, bringing down global temperatures and triggering a new ice age and the mass extinctions that accompany it.

For unknown reasons, this global disaster seems to have relatively little effect on air travel, the availability of fuel, and troop movements in the latter half of the Tribulation.

Presumably, its effect was canceled in the last year of the Tribulation, when the Fourth Bowl Judgment causes the sun to increase in intensity sufficiently to cancel the effect and, in fact, cause people who were bearing the "mark of loyalty" to burst into flames.

Despite the beneficial effects of the synthetic fertilizer having allowed for the stockpiling of non-perishables for a few years before this event, it is not known how humanity survived for another five years until then, outside of God's own will or activity.

References

In the main series, the disaster is referred to in Apollyon, but then is not referenced again.

In the kids' series, the disaster is referred to in Darkening Skies and Attack of Apollyon, but then is not referenced again.

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