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Climate Change And Vikings

February 21, 2012 by  

Climate Change And Vikings

Looking for a historical people to study that may help you survive in a changing and increasingly tumultuous world? Scientists studying the histories of Greenland and Iceland say you should check out the Vikings.

The researchers have been able to analyze how well the Norse responded to changes in the economy, trade, politics and technology, against a backdrop of changing climate. They found that some Viking societies were very good at keeping their options open in a changing world. They focused on long-term sustainability by adapting their trade links, turning their backs on some economic options and acquiring food from a variety of wild and farmed sources.

Throughout the middle ages as the global climate changed, the researchers say the Norse in Iceland embraced new economic policies and changed their way of life to benefit from new environmental factors.

The Norse in Greenland, however, failed to adapt to changing weather patterns and continued to operate in the same ways they always had. Eventually, with changes in trade, climate and cultural contact with the Inuit, the Greenland Norse society fell.

The researchers say that modern societies would do well to examine the two Norse societies, as humans having to find ways to adapt to changing environmental factors is nothing new.

Professor Andrew Dugmore of the University of Edinburgh who presented the findings said, “Our future will in part be shaped by climate change, and to prepare for it we can learn valuable lessons from how societies of the past have adapted and even flourished amid a backdrop of difficult conditions. Most importantly we can understand how a combination of climate and non-climate events can lead to a ‘perfect storm’ and trigger unexpected and dramatic social change.”

Sam Rolley

Staff writer Sam Rolley began a career in journalism working for a small town newspaper while seeking a B.A. in English. After learning about many of the biases present in most modern newsrooms, Rolley became determined to find a position in journalism that would allow him to combat the unsavory image that the news industry has gained. He is dedicated to seeking the truth and exposing the lies disseminated by the mainstream media at the behest of their corporate masters, special interest groups and information gatekeepers.

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  • eddie47d

    When one third of the Arctic Circle melted beginning in 1979 shippers envisioned new trade routes without having to use icebreakers. Most of the melting has occurred along the Northern Russian coast line and they plan on building a new city to handle this new trade route. The amount of ice that melted in the Arctic equals all US states East of Texas over to the East Coast. (From Minnesota to Louisiana and over).

    • Dale on the left coast

      Arctic Ice report for Tuesday Feb 21 . . . -50 degrees . . . . ice conditions normal . . . nothin to see here folks!!!

    • http://personallibertydigest gottaplenty

      Im willing to bet you hav’nt lived on any northern coast . Just ask any that lives up there how much has melted. I lived up there 30 yrs and if anyone but you and Al Gore ever made that statement you would be laughed out of the ice patch. But coming from you 2 its got to be just B.S.

      • http://personallibertydigest gottaplenty

        My comment was for Eddy

      • eddie47d

        Those photos have been out there for the world to see for more than 5 years.It’s not something I dreamed up Gottaplenty. Give them a look on the WEB.

  • stew

    I am expecting a nuclear ice age . 2014 seems like a good date

    • Joe H

      too late!! 12/21/2012 Ends it all!! According to the myans anyway!!!

      • stew

        dec 21 is the date of the solar flare….cme

        The CME will turn on a genetic bomb and trigger a nuclear war and destruction of ruminants. That is the prophesy. After most of the human race is wiped out , we will have 1000 years of peace. Adam and Eve will then wipe us off the earth.

  • Sirian

    Hmmm, wonder if this study is cleverly side based on “global warming”? Naw, they wouldn’t do that now would they? Yeah, right. . . :(

    • eddie47d

      One thing you are overlooking Sirian is that the Heartland Institute which is a major climate change denier has been busted for putting fake documents out there. Unlike the computer glitch in Copenhagen which some on the right use as an excuse to denounce global warming. These documents are proven to be made up. So who is the deceivers?

  • 45caliber

    I’ve always been impressed with the Vikings and own every book on them I’ve ever seen except one. (The author was trying to prove that he was related to every important Viking in history.)

    They were very adaptable. If you had something that worked better than what they already had, they immediately adopted it. Many of our common laws came from their culture. They would trade if they could but would attack if they realized you were weak. They were good at psycological warfare as well as real battle. The stories of them primarily came from their enemies so what we learn of them in high school is basically biased. Also, keep in mind that many of our notions of what Vikings were like came from early movies. Horned helmets, for instance, were from movies and not real life.

    • Jeep

      Yeah, I was actually disappointed to learn that the “horns” were a Hollywood invention, they do look cool! At least the long boats were real enough!

      • 45caliber


        To be honest a few Vikings did wear horns. But the horns were NOT fastened to their helms since they would guide any blow into the side of the head. They were meant to fall off the moment something struck them. The horns were used to frighten Christians (usually monks) because they believed Satan had horns. Monestaries were one of their favorite targets since the church required tithes to be paid in silver and gold while most taxes were paid in produce and livestock. This is one example of the psycological warfare the Vikings tended to use. Another was their axes; axes frighten people more than swords do. So the Vikings developed an excellent fighting axe for that reason.

      • Joe H

        Gee 45, and here I thought the only way the horns fell off was if a viking told a lie!!! I’ll just be darned!!!

    • JCfromDC

      Exactly, their helmets looked almost Greek from the excavations; Conical in shape with eye masks and nose guards, much like those designs retained by their Norman descendants in France. Taka a look at the Bayeaux Tapestry. The “Horns” found in their graves were mostly drinking horns buried with their other acoutrements

      • 45caliber


        The Vikings liked the drinking horns. Since they couldn’t be set down without spilling what was in them, it was necessary to make sure the horns were drained first. You wouldn’t want to waste ale and mead, after all!

        Incidently, for you ladies, the only property owned by the men were the mead halls and boats. The women owned the houses, land, businesses, etc.And you could get a divorce by walking to the center of town and announcing loudly three times that you were divorced. A lot of women would divorce a man the moment his ship disappeared over the horizon and marry the first ones to come back with any riches.

      • Joe H

        Yeah but she took a chance doing that. What if the man she divorced was the one that came home with the most riches?? He might not feel too benevolent towards the “wench” that divorced him!!! LOL!! no offence ladies!!!

  • Big Charlie

    The Norse really did outstanding things. Imagine how the history of North America might have been different if they had been able to adapt to a cooling climate better. They had established colonies in Newfoundland, and possibly further south, before the Medieval Warm Period cooled. Had they kept migrating south and been successful, we might today be living in a modern Norse society. In addition, they traded as far south as the Byzantine empire and established the Muscovite Kingdom that ultimately became the Russian Empire. Pretty amazing people.

    • 45caliber


      The Russians were named after a group of people called the Russ – one of the Viking tribes that lived in what is the St.Petersburg area today. The Russ numbered about 10,000 warriors in their hay day. The Mongols sent in 40,000 warriors to defeat them – and the Russ won. About 90% of the Mongols died. About ten years later the Teutonic Knights sent in about 35,000 – who were almost wiped out. The Mongols sent in another 50,000 who were defeated – and a few months later sent in 100,000 more who finally defeated the Russ. The Mongols ordered all the Russ – men, women, and children – to be executed since they were afraid the Russ might breed and drive them out. Very few of them survived.

  • Colin

    I think we should all prepare for climate change – it’s inevitable. The big difference between climate change now and in the middle ages is that in the middle ages it was an observable climactic phenomenon and today it is a purely political phenomenon. But nonetheless we surely will pay our climate change taxes to the elite.

  • cawun cents

    In the seventh century the vikings invented the keel.
    Everything else is a matter of history.
    Worlds were found and conquered.
    Europe put to the sword.
    Trade routes changed.
    Empires conceived.
    The whole of western history shaped,by invaders from the sea.
    All left out of historical note by those in power over educational standards.
    How very sad.
    How invocative of established knowledge and its inherent deviancies.

    • 45caliber

      cawun cents:

      The winners write the history books – or in this case, the survivors in the more civilized world did.

  • Dale on the left coast

    The Vikings lived in Greenland from the 9th to the 12th centuries. Evidence of their homes and farms is still there today. The named the place “Gronlund” . . . obviously not because it was a block of ice like it is today. So I would suggest it was a much warmer world back then, than say today. The Vikings had no SUV’s, Coal Generating Plants or bloviating politicians . . . . so what caused the warming? Could it have been the SUN?
    Today, as we live in a much cooler world, we are wringing our hands over Fat Al’s Gorebull Warming nonsense . . . aka Klimate Change.
    When did climate not change? What is the ideal temperature? How will we get there?
    This is all about the money . . . your money . . . nothing more!!!

    • 45caliber


      You are correct. During that time the world temperature was about 10-14 degrees warmer than it is today. (And the “green” people insist a 1 degree change will destroy the world!) As a result, Greenland and Iceland were very good farms. When it cooled, those in Greenland tried to continue their life as farmers and herders. That didn’t work. What finally happened to them, no one knows. I suspect that the local Indians finally absorbed them.

  • http://personallibertydigest gottaplenty

    Al Gore would be enlightened by knowing they have had previous global warming ,don’t you think?

    • 45caliber


      Not really. His whole idea of global warming is due to the fact that he owns vast amounts of stock in several companies that can produce equipment to absorb or change CO2 coming off smoke stacks. At the moment the gas is harmless but if he can frighten enough people the government will pass a law requiring the plants to install his equipment. If they do, since the equipment is so expensive, he stands to become the richest man in the world. So … he came up with global warming and pays “scientists” to research it for that reason. Since many Congressmen hope he will finance them, they are willing to pass it IF he can convince their voters. So many government reserch grants go to those “scientists” too.

      • Joe H

        He also owns several ocean front properties. now would a man with his business acum buy those if he TRULY thought that the sea level was going to rise four feet or more? REALLY???

  • s c

    Let us hope that Big Al [duh] Gore is mortal. He suffers from constant foot-in-mouth disease [aka Bidenitis]. Between the two of them, I’d bet on any third party.
    Big Al sounds like a closet capitalist in some respects. Either Dad left him filthy rich, or Gore’s ex-wife made it easy for him [ala gimme a medal for my attendance record Kerry].
    On the whole, I wouldn’t trust any global warming basket case for the time of day, let alone would I trust them to keep me safe. Mortals don’t control the weather. Even if they could, it wouldn’t last [terminal Uncle Scamitis, where everything the old fart touches eventually turns to ^#_+ sooner or later]. Gore, blah. Gore ‘science,’ blah. Gore as a high priest of Mama Earth, BLAH.

  • kellys

    As the great Industrialist, banker and oilman Armand Hammer once said about Al Gore Sr., “I have Al Gore in my pocket.”, I doubt if the nut (al Gore Jr,) fell far from the tree.


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