Thursday, July 18, 2024

Sea level rise may have pushed the Vikings away from their settlement


The Vikings lived in what is now Greenland between 985 and 1450 before suddenly disappearing from the region. The reason why he left a fairly successful settlement eludes historians, but new research The study, published in the journal PNAS, may be a major reason. The study found that “sea level change … represents an integral, missing element of the Viking story.”

“There has been a shift in the narrative away from the idea that the Vikings completely failed to adapt to the environment and towards arguments that they faced myriad challenges ranging from social unrest, economic upheaval, political issues and environmental change , “said the lead author of the study Marisa Boregin, “The changing landscape must have proved to be yet another factor that challenged the Viking way of life.”

Using computer models, the researchers found that the sea around Greenland may have risen by as much as 10 feet during the Vikings’ occupation. This could cause significant flooding, CNN writes, Most of the increase was due to the Little Ice Age that occurred during this period. Contrary to what anyone expected, during this cooling of temperatures, sea level actually rose in the region because the Greenland ice sheet “pushed down the land around it, something that forms a dent around your If you sit underwater,” per study co-author Richard Alley, “Greater masses of ice closer to shore raise the sea.”

Climate change during this time was a natural phenomenon that occurred in a cycle, however the environment is changing very rapidly due to modern day industrialization. Communities are still being displaced today as a result of rising sea levels and flooding. “The Vikings really had no choice,” commented borregine, “They couldn’t stop the Little Ice Age. We can work to mitigate climate change. The Vikings were locked in.”