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British Parliament heard devastating testimony overturning the global warming hoax

 
 
MontereyJack
 
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Reply Fri 2 Mar, 2012 06:14 pm
Actually there is lively debate going on in Americanist circles as new evidence comes to light. Far from stony silence. It's only fairly recently that substantial evidence of pre-10K years ago occupation in America has come to light, and now it's pretty generally accepted that there were people here. But there don't seem to have been many. The DNA evidence shows that at least 95% of the ancestors of the pre-Columbian population came from Asia and Siberia, and the evidence is that boats existed millenia earlier than previously thought, so coastal hopping is probable, rather than foot traffic.

The debate is lively, and as new evidence comes to light, and much recently has been, the paradigms are modified. That's not exactly stony silence. But new paradigms are developed as new data emerges.

No different data, no paradigm changes.

The same thing happens with climate science. There may be agendas, but every attempt is made to filter them out. When you;ve got people from dozens of different disciplines, with different methodologies, and different techniques, and they're all compatible with one hypothesis, you tend to give it greater credib ility. That's one of the strong points of evolutionary theory, or dinosaur extinction. It also looks to be one of the strong points of the climate change consensus.

Denialists claim climate modelers have a warming agenda. In fact to model climate change you have to bring in EVERY factor you know or suspect might affect climate, study any effect from it you can see, and quantify it as much as you can. If you leave out ANYTHING you find can affect climate, your model isn't going to work, and the whole idea is that you have to accurately deal with the climate as it is (or the weather as it is, on the short-term scale). Then you have to take conditions as you know they are today, run the models backward and see if you come up with the climate as best you can reconstruct it from the past. AND you have to take those past conditions, run the models, and see if you come up with the weather today (and the processes aren't symmetric, you have to do it both ways). And you use the best models you can develop that encompass the past and the present, and see what you get when you run them forward, putting in the various possibilities of future actions, which yield a sheaf of possibilities. If you start fudging the data, the whole project is worthless, and the whole point of what they're doing is to get the best fit possible.

Back in the late 70s and 80s, when they started the first models, with the comparatively limited computing power available and by today's standards crude models with limited variables, they got global warming, which surprised the **** out of them, because they hadn't expected it. They couldn't get rid of it.
In the decades since, as computing power has increased exponentially, as our knowledge of how the earth's physical systems behave, as we;ve learned massive amounts of stuff about past conditions and climate, as the scales that can be dealth with let things be examined in finer and finer detail, the warming signal is still there. The modelers say they can't make it go away unless they do severe damage to processes they know are going on. It was a strong signal decades ago, when the models were cruder. It's a stronger signal today, which means when you pick it up even when your tools are weak it's not just a piddly little secornd or third order effect. The early models from twenty years ago now can have some of their long-range predictions tested, since we're now where they were predicting about, and today fits comfortably within their range of variability.

If there's an agenda IN THE SCIENCE part of it, they've spent decades trying to deal it out.
Setanta
 
  2  
Reply Fri 2 Mar, 2012 06:21 pm
@MontereyJack,
I was unaware of any such modification of the theories of the population of the Americas. I acknowledge that i haven't kept up, but as recently as five or six years ago, the Solutrean hypothesis was ignored or pooh-poohed.

I think the agenda is not a "warming agenda." I think anyone with a brain and a pulse (i.e., not people like Gunga Dim) and who doesn't have an interest in the energy industry acknowledges that we're in a warming period. What i object to is the categorical claim that it's an anthropogenic cause and effect, based on too little understanding of all the climate "players." That's why i have had an interest in the oceanic effect and the affect on the oceans. I first became aware of the northern Atlantic climate change events in the late 1960s, when most people were predicting a coming ice age. I was skeptical about that, becuase based on history, the northern Atlantic climate cycles were definitely regional. The Med had weather and precipitation patterns of a much warmer climate at the same time that Strabo reports the Massilian mariner finding pack ice as far south as Iceland.

I'm sorry, but i don't buy that in science every effort is made to filter out that which contradicts the leading model. There's to much involved in the way of professional reputations and grant money for that to be true. It's the same way all across the academic disciplines. By and large, i'd say the majority of researchers are honest, but that doesn't mean they don't have an agenda, nor that they won't have a slection bias, whether they know it or not.
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MontereyJack
 
  0  
Reply Fri 2 Mar, 2012 06:53 pm
Keep in mind that anthropogenic climate change is, in fact, the new paradigm, which the old guard, the denialists, are resisting kicking and screaming and politicising, not the other way round.(it really is, the percentage of emeritus professors amongst the academics who are denialists is way high--kind of bears out the old saw that you've got to wait for the old guys to die off before a new idea can really take root).

And certainly ocean currents and the whole "conveyer" is important in climate and climate change, (and it's really important in the fatally flawed anecdotal ,denialist narrative that they return to over and over again, about Norse in Greenland) but when you have something perturbing the system it's likely that all bets are off, and anthropogenic induced climate change is pumping more and more energy into the system, energy drives weather systems, and the more put in they're going to change, in predictable ways, and probably in unpredicted ways too. When something gets perturbed, it tends to bite. And the calculations are either at or close to the 95% confidence level, the scientific statistical gold standard, that warming is real and largely anthropogenic. And I'll accept that.
rosborne979
 
  2  
Reply Fri 2 Mar, 2012 07:44 pm
@parados,
parados wrote:

Quote:
I would need to see evidence which specifies the relative contribution of human activity within the natural cycles and events.


http://www.ipcc.ch/publications_and_data/ar4/wg1/en/ch9s9-7.html
Thanks. That's close to what I was looking for. I'll have to review it in more detail when I get a chance.
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  2  
Reply Fri 2 Mar, 2012 07:49 pm
@MontereyJack,
Well, the Norse in Greenland was the result of a convergence of several factors. It was in studying that that i first became aware of the little ice age and the little climactiv optimum. The Norse had hunted the southeast coast of Greenland ever since they became a truly sea-going people (late 7th/early 8th centuries), but there was no habitable coast there (the Dorset culture "eskimos" had once lived there, but probably more than a 1000 years before the Norse showed up). Various sea-going people, principally pirates and mostly Norse with slaves captured in raids on Ireland and Scotland began settling Iceland in the late 9th century, which was a period of great activity among the northern tribes. This was the same period during which the Danes began the attempt to conquer England.

Most of the new settlers had good reason to leave their homelands, and it wasn't just overcrowding and poor soil. Iceland is hardly a garden island. Usually their former haunts had become too hot for them. A great many of the early settlers were pirates or murderers. Among the Norse, the records (principally sagas transmitted orally and only written down beginning in the 11th century--those copies are gone, and only recensions remain) refer to manslaughter, which reflects the inability to enforce a verdict of murder. Such men would be outlawed, and unless they had very powerful friends, they'd have to get out of Dodge.

Thorvald Asvaldsson was outlawed for manslaughter in Norway, and he left for Iceland with his wife and children, including his adolescent sone Erik--Erik Thorvaldsson, known to history as Erik the Red. Erik himself was accusedd of manslaughter in 980, and was outlawed for three years in 981. He went off to Greenland. Although the Norse could easily cross the Denmark strait to southeast Greenland, and frequently did to hunt pelagic mammals, they found it no more hospitable than their ancestors had done.

But Erik spent three years there, and immediately made for the southwest coast. He then sailed north along that coast, where the most habitable regions lay. He also probably crossed the Davis Strait to Baffin Island, although the sagas are not a reliable source. Skalds may well have known the importance of descriptions of sailing and sailing directions, but the monks who wrote down the sagas, and constantly copied and corrupted them didn't--so there's a good deal of dispute about where exactly he went. However, an account from the Floamanna Saga suggests that at least one Norseman had spent many years somewhere on the North American coast, so Erik's decision to immediately sail to Cape Farewell and around to the southwest coast may have been because he had earlier reports of the region.

When he returned to Iceland in 984, he must have come to some sort of settlement with his enemies (and he brought back an extremely valuable cargo of furs, pelts and "ivory" from pelagic mammals), because he was unmolested as he traveled around Iceland and rounded up settlers. In the early summer of 985, he lead about 30 ships to the new land, of which about 15 or 16 made it. One was Herjolf Bardsson, who was a retired merchant. He took land in the first fjord north of Cape Farewell. His son, Bjarni Herjolfsson, had sailed to Norway the previous year to trade, and when he retuned to Iceland and found his father gone, he sailed for Greenland (i won't go into details, but obviously his father left him detailed information, including the lattitude of Cape Farewell).

Bjarni was driven off course by a storm, and when he could finally once more control his course, he sailed for days and days north along an unkn0wn coastline. It is now evident that he coasted the east coast of Newfoundland and then Labrador. When he reached Cape Chidley at the northern point of Labrador, he turned hard to starboard and sailed for five days, sailing directly into Herjolfsness, his fathers settlement. He almost certainly had gotten detailed information before he left Iceland.

Ten or twelve years later, he sold his ship to Leif Eriksson, and it seems likely the he gave Leif detailed (and exclusive) information about his voyage, including the lattitudes of the land he had sighted. Leif seems to have set out sailing directly south to what would become known as Vinland the Good. The forests of Labrador are coniferous, and the forests of northern Newfoundland are also largely coniferous. But the forests of central and southern Newfoundland are hardwoods, and extremely valuable cargo to sell in Greenland and Iceland. Leif brought back such a cargo and it made him a wealty and influential man.

Certainly the little climactic optimum made the settlement of Greenlandn possible. But other Norse had been there before Erik Thorvaladsson, and they hadn't stayed. The Irish may have been there before the Norse, too--Erik found an abandoned house there on his first voyage, and the Norse routinely referred to Greenland in those days as Irland Mikkla--Greater Ireland. But Greenland was settled due to the strenght of Erik's personality, and his ambition. In Iceland, he was a little man, with no great lands and many powerful enemies. In Greenland, he was a Jarl, a great cheiftan, who dispensed land and honor to his followers. Climate played a part, but it took Erik the Red to make the settlement of Greenland possible.

My history advisor in university once told me (rather pompously) that history is the study of everything. Rather too ambitious, but understanding things like climate is importanat. But it's not as though climate inevitably drew the Norse to Greenland--Erik the Red did that.
0 Replies
 
MontereyJack
 
  0  
Reply Fri 2 Mar, 2012 08:49 pm
Yes, but here's the thing. What made the settlement of Greenland feasible for Scandinavian farmers and herders was that the North Atlantic Current, the northern extension of the Gulf Stream, crosses over from Scandinavia and curls around and up the southwest coast. One of the sagas, and this was three years ago, so I'm not sure which one now, Bjarni's?, says the sailing directions from Scandinavia were to sail west til you hit a land with no trees. That's the east coast of Greenland, then and now not amenable to agriculture. The southwest coast was. The northwest coast wasn't either. When the Danes came back to Greenland around 1750, still in the Maunder Minimum Little Ice Age, they too settled the southwest coast, with a technology somewhat better than the Vikings, but still pre-industrial, and still reliant on some agriculture and herding, which is reliant on grasses growing at least. The rest of Greenland pretty much then and still in large part today is only amenable to sea animal centered activity and basically an Eskimo lifestyle. So Greenland is not a good indicator of when there was cooling and warming elsewhere in the northern hemisphere, because it was dependent on the Gulf Stream, and the Danish resettlement was possible when there were cold temps in the rest of Europe due to solar variation. It doesn't work with the denialist narrative, which used it as an example. Actually, come down to that, the modern Euro-descendants still are pretty much concentrated on the SW coast.There were of course other things going on--it was always just at the edge of habitability for people who clung to European lifeways--it was too cold to grow barley for beer, which pissed them off tremendously and they had to go back to the old country to get it. There's also some evidence of indigenous trees when they got there, and subsequent deforestation which meant after awhile no ships, and no tradeand isolation.
And in the last several decades the possibility of some agriculture at least has been slowly creeping up the west coast, there are reports of gardens farther north than ever used to be possible, which is consistent with warming . Not to mention that the Greenland ice cap, the second largest mass of ice on land in the world after Antarctica has doubled its melt rate, maybe more in the last twenty years or som
Setanta
 
  2  
Reply Fri 2 Mar, 2012 10:27 pm
@MontereyJack,
No, you've got the currents all wrong there. I have it in a book upstairs, but i'm not going to bother. Traders from Greenland and Iceland would sail directly to Norway, which was pretty easy given that the prevailing winds in the Labrador Sea are westerlies. But ships didn't sail directly to Greenland from Norway, they sailed by way of Iceland.

I understand the climactic conditions made it feasible, but no one did anything about it until Erik Thorvaldsson took the matter in hand and lead settlers there. Lots of factors impinged--Iceland was filling up, and there was little land left, while the settlements there had been successful enough that population was increasing, further subdividing what land there was. People were ready for somewhere else to settle, but they needed leadership. Scotland and Ireland were no longer attractive because the people there had learned to deal with the Norse and the Danes--Brian Boru had already begun his campaign against the Norse and the Danes which would culminate 30 years later in the battle that claimed his life, but forever broke the back of the power of the Norse and Danes in Ireland. The Danes had overrun much of England already in the 9th century, but even with the help of the Norse, they were unable to overrun Wessex. Cnut, the Danish king who would overrun England had just been born.

Erik Thorvaldsson provided the leadership to take land in Greenland, and he did so at a sort of crossroads in the history of the Norse which made the effort very attractive to Icelanders. Climate made it possible, but Erik made it happen.

Here, i found this:

http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-z0Gx59ZvTFY/TZnh22ADOVI/AAAAAAAABkI/WpJTl3qcIbY/s1600/LabradorCurrentus-coastguard.jpg

The North Atlantic current will carry you west. When, a few years after Leif's voyage, Erik attempted it, he went too far south and was carried west by that current, and finally fetched up in Iceland. (He and Leif were feuding, Leif having attempted to convert Greenland to Christianity, and Erik opposing it. Leif would not given his father any information about the voyage to Vinalnd.) Not long after that, the expedition of Thorvald Eriksson, Freydis Eriksdottir and Thorfinn Karlsefni also attempted to find Vinland. Erik's reeve, Thorhall the Hunter, attempted to sail back north to Labrador, but was driven south by one of the rare, vicious northeasters that sometimes come to the Labrador Sea in summer. They were in what was known as an afterboat, a sort of ship's launch. They got caught in the North Atlantic current and were carried to Ireland. There, Thorhall was murdered, which is unsurprising considering his personality. Eventually one of his men escaped to Iceland and told the story of their voyage and captivity.
0 Replies
 
MontereyJack
 
  0  
Reply Sat 3 Mar, 2012 05:28 am
Set, what you're interested in is why they DID settle Greenland;' what I was interested in and what the discussion I was in was why they COULD settle Greenland(i.e. why the physical and climatic conditions made settlement there possible), and what that did or did not tell us about climate change. You're interested in the history. I was interested in the climatology. Both discussions have their place, obviously. But for the most part in this case, neither bears largely on the other.
Your map is probably the most explicit I've seen. Thanks for posting it. Looking at it, the current east of Greenland, with its potential moderating influence on harsh climates (most of Greenland is glacier, after all) is well away from the coast; on the southwest coast where Viking settlement was entirely and where modern non-Inuit settlement still mostly is, the current hugs the coast, making settlement feasible; and it veers away again on the NW coast. Which was my point. In the context of that discussion, on the major climate change thread on a2k, the point was whether or not Greenland was indicative of major climate change affecting Europe, and whether settlement there or non-settlement could tell us about climate change in Europe and the world in general, and my point was that it couldn't, since the possibility of settlement there depended largely on the Gulf Stream (I'm using that as shorthand for the whole world current system) rather than other climate influences, which it didn't necessarily parallel.

Whether someone DID settle there clearly depends on a whole lot of human factors: population pressure, whether someone could expect to inherit enough good land, whether new land was known, whether or not someone was a consummate asshole and no one could stand him, to name just a few. Climate is fairly far down the list in that discussion.

Which discussion we could have depends on what we're trying to figure out at the time.

Setanta
 
  2  
Reply Sat 3 Mar, 2012 06:00 am
@MontereyJack,
First, i was tired last night, and the effect of the North Atlantic current was to carry vessels east toward Europe. My response was to the claim that "What made the settlement of Greenland feasible for Scandinavian farmers and herders was that the North Atlantic Current, the northern extension of the Gulf Stream, crosses over from Scandinavia and curls around and up the southwest coast." That is an inaccurate description. The North Atlantic current is, in fact, the northern arm of the Great Circle route between Europe and the Americas. A ship leaving Europe would sail south past Portugal, then swing west to the coast of South Ameica, then north along the coast of North America. Using the Northa Atlantic current and the prevailing westerlies, said ship could then return to Europe, making landfall in Ireland, or entering the Irish Sea for a landfall in England, or to proceed to the English Channel.

This:

Quote:
Which was my point. In the context of that discussion, on the major climate change thread on a2k, the point was whether or not Greenland was indicative of major climate change affecting Europe, and whether settlement there or non-settlement could tell us about climate change in Europe and the world in general, and my point was that it couldn't, since the possibility of settlement there depended largely on the Gulf Stream (I'm using that as shorthand for the whole world current system) rather than other climate influences, which it didn't necessarily parallel.


. . . is to the point (except that the Gulf Stream had nothing to do with either sailing or the climate of southwest Greenland), in that it was not climate conditions which made the voyage possible. Climate conditions, which were largely local to the North Atlantic, made it attractive. Definitely, the evidence is that the little climactic optimum was local and not a product of global climate. The end of the climactic optimum, however, was probably an effect of global climate.
0 Replies
 
MontereyJack
 
  0  
Reply Sat 3 Mar, 2012 06:18 am
The question was not about sailing conditions, but about what you could do when you got there. Essentially the only place Euro settling has ever been done is the SW coast, and that's where the warmer currents come close to the land, the onlhy place where some limited agriculture and forage for animal herding were possible.
MontereyJack
 
  -1  
Reply Sat 3 Mar, 2012 06:29 am
thinking back on it, the sailing to greenland was probably somewhere in snorri sturluson
Setanta
 
  2  
Reply Sat 3 Mar, 2012 06:30 am
@MontereyJack,
The question is very much about sailing conditions--if you can't sail there, you can't settle there. Once again, you really need to study the currents and climate of the region. The currents of the southwest coast is a cold current (look at the map again). That's why, when the climactic optimum ended, the region quickly became uninhabitable for the white boys whose culture was not built around exploiting subpolar game, as was the case with the Thule culture people who soon replaced them.

I don't know why you're obsessed with the Gulf Stream and warm currents. Those apply to western Europe and explain why Ireland, and to a lesser extent, England, have relatively mild and balmy climates. It ain't got nothin' to do with the climate of Greenland.
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  2  
Reply Sat 3 Mar, 2012 06:40 am
@MontereyJack,
I don't know about that--my familiarity with Snorri Sturluson is as a source for Norse mythology. The sagas which cover Greenland and North America are the Short Saga (a fragment of the oldest version of the Erik the Red Saga, which ends with the arrival of Bjarni Herjolfsson in Greenland), the Erik the Red Saga (a later and less reliable recension of the original oral tradition), the Groenlendinga Saga (the Greenlander's Tale) and the Thorfinn Karlsefni Saga, which covers the failed attempt to find and settle Leif's Vinland. Greenland and the North American coast are also mentioned in some other sagas, notably the Floamanna Saga--but aren't central to those sagas. Finally, the two great foundational works of Icelandic history--the Islendingabok and the Landnamabok--mention all the principle players in the events in Greenland and North America.

I know that Sturluson wrote some historical (or quasi-historical) stuff, i'm just not familiar with it. It is worth noting that all of the sagas i mentioned were oral traditions, and only began to be written down in the late 11th or early 12th century. Those original written version--already somewhat unreliable becasue they were being written down by Christian monks--do not survive. Only much later recensions survive. So, for example, the Short Saga is probably the most ancient version of any of them, but it is only a fragment. The rest of the Erik the Red Saga is from a recension which probably dates to about the time of Snorri Sturluson, centuries after it had been a part of the oral tradition.
0 Replies
 
MontereyJack
 
  -1  
Reply Sat 3 Mar, 2012 07:16 am
Set,
Quote:
Some ocean currents are warm and other ocean currents are cold, but a few are actually in between.

Sometimes you will read that the West Greenland Current is a weak cold water current that flows to the north along the west coast of Greenland. The current results from the movement of water flowing around the southernmost point of Greenland (Cape Farewell) caused by the East Greenland Current. Just as shown on the following map (from Wikipedia).

This is however not the whole story. I remember from a visit to the southern west coast of Greenland, that I felt the climate relatively mild, and a few ports here are actually ice free the whole winter. This is in agreement with the view of other scientists that the West Greenland Current is a a warm current connected to a broader scale North Atlantic climate via the combined influences of Atlantic water from the Irminger Current (a branch of the North Atlantic Current, which is turning westwards south of Iceland) and polar water from the East Greenland Current (Polar Current).


http://my.opera.com/nielsol/blog/2010/07/18/west-greenland-current

As you yourself have noted, there's a whole ocean circulatory system, and the various North Atlantic currents are part of it. Those currents effect the climate of northern Europe. They also affect the climate of Greenland. They appaently made possible a European settlement on Greenland. That they could get there does not bear on what they could do when they got there. That depended on the climate of Greenland, and that depended on the currents there, and the WGC is warm (see above). It's not a case of obsession, but of what the discussion where this came up was about, and it was not about why Eric came to Greenland, but about climate change (which is also, you may remember, what this thread is about)






Setanta
 
  2  
Reply Sat 3 Mar, 2012 07:19 am
@MontereyJack,
Uh-huh . . . who's your source, there?

(EDIT: That the west Greenland current is warmer than the east Greenland current is a relative statement--it's still a cold current in every source i've read. I guess i'll have to go dig out another source.)
0 Replies
 
MontereyJack
 
  -1  
Reply Sat 3 Mar, 2012 07:40 am
Quote:

Water flows in a mainly clockwise direction around Iceland. The warm North Atlantic Drift Current gives rise to the Irminger Current south of Iceland. The Irminger current travels along the western and northwestern coasts until it meets the polar water of the East Greenland
http://oceancurrents.rsmas.miami.edu/atlantic/east-iceland.html
Cooperative Institute for Marine and Atmosphere Studies, University of Miami
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  2  
Reply Sat 3 Mar, 2012 08:05 am
@MontereyJack,
I don't know that you are correct in stating: "That depended on the climate of Greenland, and that depended on the currents there, and the WGC is warm (see above)." Certainly those currents would have had a moderating influence on the local climate there--but prior to about the 7th or 8th centuries, no one was going to be sailing to the southwest coast of Greenland, because the pack ice which had built up during the North Atlantic "little ice age" would not have permitted it.

History matters, too, of course. The Norse did not become blue water sailors until rather late in the game in comparison to the Irish, the Picts and the Frisians. They had a superior ship-building technique, or rather boat building technique. But nothing other than coastal wherries--fishing boats--has been found archaeologically dating any earlier than about the 7th or 8th centuries. When they finally did become blue water sailors, their superior ship-building technique mean that the knorrir that they built were excellent for sailing the North Atlantic. Based on good inferential evidence, it appears that the Irish might have settled in very small numbers on the southwest coast of Greenland (called Irland Mikkla by the Norse) in the 8th and 9th centuries. But they were gone by the time Erik the Red got there in the late 10th century--although he did find an abaondoned house. The migration of the Irish to Iceland and Greenland corresponded to the arrival of the Norse and Danes in the Irish Sea--but intially, they raided by coming south around England. By the time Erik went to Greenland, the Irish were already effectively dealing with the Norse and Danes in Ireland, and had no further reason to go anywhere else.

I don't see any reason to suggest that the ocean currents created the climactic conditions of the little climactic optimum. As i've already stated, i believe it was global and not local climactic change which ended that warm period in the North Atlantic.
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  3  
Reply Sat 3 Mar, 2012 08:09 am
By the way, i'm not saying that ocean currents did not create the North Atlantic "little ice age" (roughly 500 BCE to 500 CE) or the North Atlantic "little climactic optimum" (roughly 700 CE to about 1200 CE--as i've said, i believe that global cooling rather than a local effect ended that period). What i am saying is i don't see you providing evidence that that is the case. Actually, i'd love to see it, because as i've already said, i don't think enough is yet known about the oceanic effect in climate change.
0 Replies
 
MontereyJack
 
  -1  
Reply Sat 3 Mar, 2012 09:44 am
Never said anything of the sort. What I see happening is what I have said all along. Greenland has been (before the last century or so's tech got much better at it), just barely habitable by European agriculturalist/herders. There was really only one habitable area--the SW coast. That was habitable because the climate there was a bit more moderate than the rest of the island. That was because it was swept by a current that was an outlier of the
"Great Conveyer" complex system. It was a warmer current than the water surrounding the rest of the island--it wasn't a very warm warm current, but then Greenland was less habitable than other Norse-settled lands as well. Just enough. Which set of special conditions made Greenland not a reliable source for anecdotal evidence about localized or global warm or cold periods.

Setanta
 
  2  
Reply Sat 3 Mar, 2012 10:01 am
@MontereyJack,
I agree that it's not a good example from which to extrapolate. It wasn't even good for agriculturalists. It was only useful for pastoralists/hunters. Although possessed of iron tools (a limited supply), the Norse more or less regressed to hunter/gatherers (although they did herd sheep. goats and cattle--good grass lands). This was not necessarily a harship for them--there was very little crop growing in Iceland either--in both places, grain had to be imported and that meant no beer and no bread. A chieftan such as Erik would buy grain from a merchant and the make beer for a midwinter feast--a real treat for those boys. The man who was probably the last Greenlander in "pre-modern" times was found by a Dutch whaling crew in the mid-15th century. He was found dead, but not decayed, and his clothing was largely hide and furs. He had a stone knife at his belt. It's interesting how little seperates the stone age from the iron age.
0 Replies
 
 

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