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Vikings arrived in Greenland during warm period
Then came a cold snap and they disappeared
30 May 11 - "Vikings arrived in Greenland in the 980s, during a warm period like the present," says this article on Reuters.
The Viking settlers flourished. But then came a cold snap in Greenland in the 12th century.
This cold snap may help explain why the Vikings vanished from the island, says a new study in the U.S. journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
Average temperatures plunged 4 degrees Celsius (7F) in a period of only 80 years beginning about 1100, says William D'Andrea of Brown University, lead author of the study.
That would be like having today's average temperatures in Edinburgh, Scotland, tumble to match those in Reykjavik, Iceland, said D'Andrea. It would be a huge setback to crop and livestock production.
"Conflicts with indigenous Inuit, a search for better hunting grounds, economic stresses and natural swings in climate, perhaps caused by shifts in the sun's output or volcanic eruptions, could all be factors," the article continues.
"The study also traced even earlier swings in the climate to the rise and fall of pre-historic peoples on Greenland."
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