Climate change Sea-level rise in Southwest Greenland as a contributor to Viking abandonment

Tautalus

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A team of researchers from Harvard University and Pennsylvania State University claims to have discovered a key factor that could explain why the Vikings' left Greenland: rising sea levels. Using a computer model based on geological and climate records, the team found that sea levels would have risen by up to 3 meters during the four centuries of Norse occupation of the eastern colony that the Vikings established in Greenland in 985 AD. The researchers calculated that 204 square kilometers (79 square miles) of land would have been flooded during the period of colony occupation, making Norse communities more vulnerable to storm surges and coastal erosion while also losing fertile land. The loss of habitable land would have been compounded by a movement from warmer to colder and drier temperatures in Europe, which eventually led to what is known as the Little Ice Age, which began around 1250 CE. A study detailing the findings was published this mounth in the scientific journal PNAS.

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