Friday, April 21, 2023

Sea level rise came first for the Vikings, now it's coming for you

 From PNAS:

[Viking occupation of Greenland] coincided with a transition from the Medieval Warm Period to the Little Ice Age and Southern Greenland Ice Sheet advance. We demonstrate using geophysical modeling that this advance would have (counterintuitively) driven local sea-level rise of ~3 m (when combined with a long-term regional trend) and inundation of 204 km2. This largely overlooked process led to the abandonment of some sites and pervasive flooding. Progressive sea-level rise impacted the entire settlement and may have acted in tandem with social and environmental factors to drive Viking abandonment of Greenland.

My fairly obvious contribution to the discussion is that 204 square km isn't that big of a loss relative to the total non-glaciated land nearby and the relatively small number of 2000 people and their livestock on all that land.