Extremely cold climate led Vikings, Norse settlers to flee Greenland
Washington, June 21 (ANI): Researchers from Brown University have found that climate was a crucial factor in the disappearance of Viking and Norse settlers from Greenland.
The Vikings had arrived in Greenland in the 980s, establishing a string of small communities along Greenland's west coast.
Scientists reconstructed 5,600 years of climate history from lakes near the Norse settlement in western Greenland showing how the extreme cold climate affected the Dorset and Saqqaq cultures.hey have ascertained that an extended cold snap, called the 'Little Ice Age' gripped Greenland in the beginning of the 1400s. This has been cited as a major cause of the Norse's disappearance in the 14th and early 15th centuries.
"The record shows how quickly temperature changed in the region and by how much," said co-author Yongsong Huang, professor of geological sciences at Brown and D'Andrea's Ph.D. adviser.
"It is interesting to consider how rapid climate change may have impacted past societies, particularly in light of the rapid changes taking place today," they added.
Archaeological and written records reveal that the Western Settlement persisted until sometime around the mid-1300s. The Eastern Settlement is believed to have vanished in the first two decades of the 1400s.
Researchers have also examined how climate affected the Saqqaq and Dorset peoples.
The Saqqaq are known to have arrived in Greenland around 2500 B.C., at a time when there were warm and cold swings in temperature until centuries. But, the climate took a turn in the beginning roughly 850 B.C.
The study findings appear in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. (ANI)
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