Saturday, October 01, 2005

Rise and Fall of the Vikings and the Little Ice Age

The Rise and Fall of the Vikings and the Little Ice Age - Illustrated, scholarly study by Scott Mandia on the impact of long-term climate changes on the Viking civilization in Greenland and Iceland.

As we continue to debate the validity of global warming, it is important to remember that the climate has changed a lot over time. The Vikings in Greenland suffered as the world grew colder. Temperatures rise and fall on a regular basis. It is really tough sometimes to tell how much impact people have on the weather.

From the site:

The weather impacts every aspect of life whether it be human, animal, or plant-life. Long-term weather, or climate, forces humans and all other life forms to continuously adapt in order to survive most efficiently within the climate type of a given region. On a geological time scale of thousands or millions of years, the earth has experienced much warmer and much cooler climates than those today. Humans, however, are influenced by climate changes occurring over much shorter time scales. Most are familiar with the term, El Niño, which is the name given to the two to five year change in climate associated with abnormally warm equatorial Pacific Ocean sea-surface temperatures. During an El Niño period, news stories abound about how this phenomena has caused global havoc such as floods, droughts, severe hot and cold, etc.

During the years 600-1850, Europe (and perhaps the world) experienced climate changes that lasted for hundreds of years. The effects of these long-term climate changes were far-reaching - every aspect of life in Europe was influenced including, among others, exploration, agriculture, health, deaths, economics, and art and literature. In particular, the rise and fall of the Viking civilization in Greenland and Iceland is directly linked to climate changes.

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