May 26, 2019

What Environmental Data Can Tell Us about the Greenland Vikings

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*Editor’s Note* – This information helps to sensibly explain the realities of climate and the environment. What sticks out most is that climate has always changed and will continue to do so and not necessarily due to such nonsense as carbon dioxide. Along with the fact that climate has changed, is revealed that when the Vikings first settled the western shores of Greenland, the climate was relatively warm, and thus living was comparatively easy with the ability to grow crops, etc. In time, the climate cooled, ending the growth period of the Vikings in Greenland.

In brief summary, we know that the Vikings were heavily reliant on hunting, fishing and whaling at the beginning of the Greenland colonial period. This happened to be at the start of the Medieval Warm Period and the climate of Greenland at the time would have been very attractive to the colonists coming from Iceland and later from Norway to whom they owed fealty. Later on, they converted to Christianity and either through taboos from the church, the nobility or simply through social attitudes of wishing to express their European identity stridently, they chose to abandon most of those practices that would have been vital to their survival. We know they grew the sort of crops they would have grown in Norway, France, England and Ireland – crops that may have been too intense for the soil. They cut and burnt the trees and farmed livestock too, particularly sheep and cows. All of this put a tremendous amount of pressure on already fragile soil. When the climate started to change, it was only a matter of time before the colony failed if they chose not to adapt. It seems the damage had been done.

Source: What Environmental Data Can Tell Us about the Greenland Vikings | EnvironmentalScience.org

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