Researchers have long wondered how the Vikings thrived in a harsh and frigid Greenland thousands of years ago.

But, if a new study is correct, the era may not have been quite as cold as we’ve come to believe.

Using lake sediment cores collected in southern Greenland, researchers have reconstructed the region’s climate record for the past 3,000 years.

The study suggests the ancient settlers may have had balmy weather on their side when they arrived in the year 985 C.E, with summer temperatures sitting around 50-degrees.

When the Vikings lived in southern Greenland between 985 and 1450 C.E., average temperatures were relatively warm compared to the previous and subsequent centuries, according to the new study led by a team from Northwestern University.

This period likely had a similar climate to that of southern Greenland today.

Though this has been speculated in the past, the lack of local temperature reconstructions have so far prevented any confirmation, according to Yarrow Axford, the study’s senior author.

‘So this has been a bit of a climate mystery,’ Axford said.

In the study, the team collected sediment cores from settlements outside of Narsaq and analyzed the chemistry of the bugs trapped within.

The chironomids – a mix of different lake fly species – hold a record of oxygen isotopes in their preserved exoskeletons.

This revealed, for the first time, a direct window into the temperature changes experienced during the Norse Eastern Settlement, when the Vikings arrived.

Original Source


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Fill out this field
Fill out this field
Please enter a valid email address.