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Adapt or Die

Vikings failed to adapt as big freeze hit Greenland-News-Weather-TimesOnline

More than 1,000 years ago, the Vikings colonised Greenland. They settled in the southwest of the island, where the climate was just warm enough to farm animals on summer pastures and make hay for the long winter.

The population grew to a few thousand people, with farmsteads, churches and even a bishop. But life in such an extreme climate was balanced on a knife-edge, and more than 300 years later they all vanished.

Evidence from a few visiting ships, and samples of ice drilled from the Greenland icesheet, point to sudden cold bouts in the 1300s and a longer freeze in the 1400s. ...

While the Norse colony died out the Inuit of Greenland survived by hunting whales, seals, and fish, as well as land animals. In contrast, the Norse failed to adapt to the new and rapidly changing climate.

A simple lesson in the face of climate change then, don't bury your head in the sand hoping tomorrow will be the same as yesterday, be flexible and smart.

Comments

Hello,

Actually the hypothesis of the climate change does to explain the demise of the Norse colonies, is only one of several theories, with little solid data to back it up:

http://www.york.ac.uk/teaching/history/pjpg/Greenland.pdf

It seems though, that Norse never learned the Inuit techniques of kayak navigation or ring seal hunting. Pity.

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