Study shows that Vikings enjoyed a warmer Greenland

Public Release: 6-Feb-2019

Study shows that Vikings enjoyed a warmer Greenland

Chemistry of bugs trapped in ancient lake sediment shows a warm climate at a key time in Greenland’s history

Northwestern University

This is a 21st-century reproduction of Thjodhild’s church on Erik the Red’s estate (known as Brattahlíð) in present day Qassiarsuk, Greenland. Credit G. Everett Lasher/Northwestern University

 

EVANSTON, Ill. — A new study may resolve an old debate about how tough the Vikings actually were.

Although TV and movies paint Vikings as robust souls, braving subzero temperatures in fur pelts and iron helmets, new evidence indicates they might have been basking in 50-degree summer weather when they settled in Greenland.

After reconstructing southern Greenland’s climate record over the past 3,000 years, a Northwestern University team found that it was relatively warm when the Norse lived there between 985 and 1450 C.E., compared to the previous and following centuries.

“People have speculated that the Norse settled in Greenland during an unusually, fortuitously warm period, but there weren’t any detailed local temperature reconstructions that fully confirmed that. And some recent work suggested that the opposite was true,” said Northwestern’s Yarrow Axford, the study’s senior author. “So this has been a bit of a climate mystery.”

Now that climate mystery finally has been solved.

The study will publish on Feb. 6 in the journal Geology. Axford is an associate professor of Earth and planetary sciences in Northwestern’s Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences. The study is a part of Northwestern Ph.D. candidate G. Everett Lasher’s dissertation research, based in Axford’s lab.

To reconstruct past climate, the researchers studied lake sediment cores collected near Norse settlements outside of Narsaq in southern Greenland. Because lake sediment forms by an incremental buildup of annual layers of mud, these cores contain archives of the past. By looking through the layers, researchers can pinpoint climate clues from eons ago.

For this study, Lasher analyzed the chemistry of a mix of lake fly species, called chironomids, trapped inside the layers of sediment. By looking at the oxygen isotopes within the flies’ preserved exoskeletons, the team pieced together a picture of the past. This method allowed the team to reconstruct climate change over hundreds of years or less, making it the first study to quantify past temperature changes in the so-called Norse Eastern Settlement.

“The oxygen isotopes we measure from the chironomids record past lake water isotopes in which the bugs grew, and that lake water comes from precipitation falling over the lake,” said Lasher, first author of the paper. “The oxygen isotopes in precipitation are partly controlled by temperature, so we examined the change in oxygen isotopes through time to infer how temperature might have changed.”

Because recent studies concluded that some glaciers were advancing around Greenland and nearby Arctic Canada during the time Vikings lived in southern Greenland, Axford and Lasher expected their data to indicate a much colder climate. Instead, they found that a brief warm period interrupted a consistent cooling climate trend driven by changes in Earth’s orbit. Near the end of the warm period, the climate was exceptionally erratic and unstable with record high and low temperatures that preceded Viking abandonment of Greenland. Overall, the climate was about 1.5-degrees Celsius warmer than the surrounding cooling centuries. This warmer period was similar to southern Greenland’s temperatures today, which hover around 10-degrees Celsius (50-degrees Fahrenheit) in summer.

In another surprise, Axford and Lasher found that the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) — a natural fluctuation in atmospheric pressure that is often responsible for climate anomalies in the region — probably was not in a dominantly positive phase for multiple Medieval centuries as had been hypothesized. (When the NAO is in its positive phase, it brings cold air to much of Greenland.)

“We found that the NAO could not explain Medieval climatic changes at our site,” Lasher said. “That might call into question its use in explaining long-term climate change over the last 3,000 years elsewhere.”

So what did cause the Vikings’ fortuitously warm climate? Lasher and Axford aren’t sure but speculate it might have been caused by warmer ocean currents in the region. The new data will be useful for climate modelers and climate researchers as they seek to understand and predict what might be in store for Greenland’s ice sheet as Earth warms rapidly in the future.

“Unlike warming over the past century, which is global, Medieval warmth was localized,” Axford said. “We wanted to investigate what was happening in southern Greenland at that time because it’s a climatically complex part of the world where counterintuitive things can happen.”

The Norse settlements in Greenland collapsed as local climate apparently became exceptionally erratic, and then ultimately consistently cold. But Axford and Lasher will leave it to the archaeologists to determine whether or not climate played a role in their departure.

“We went in with a hypothesis that we wouldn’t see warmth in this time period, in which case we might have had to explain how the Norse were hearty, robust folk who settled in Greenland during a cold snap,” Lasher said. “Instead, we found evidence for warmth. Later, as their settlements died out, apparently there was climatic instability. Maybe they weren’t as resilient to climate change as Greenland’s indigenous people, but climate is just one of many things that might have played a role.”

###

“Medieval warmth confirmed at the Norse Eastern Settlement in Greenland” was supported by the National Science Foundation Polar Programs CAREER Award (number 1454734).

From EurekAlert!

154 thoughts on “Study shows that Vikings enjoyed a warmer Greenland

  1. This is news? Are we fighting revisionist history that Greenland wasn’t once a temperate climate capable of agriculture on a scale to support the inhabitants?

    • Unlike warming over the past century, which is global, Medieval warmth was localized

      And that’s what makes it YouReekAlert!

      • Everyone should know about the Medieval Warm Period Project at co2science.org .

        There are hundreds of scientific papers that show the effects of the MWP all over the world. In addition, there is the (written) historical record and archaeological evidence.

        The medieval warm period, which started a century earlier in Asia, benefited the rest of the globe as well. From the ninth through the thirteenth centuries, farming spread into northern portions of Russia. In the Far East, Chinese and Japanese farmers migrated north into Manchuria, the Amur Valley and northern Japan. The Vikings founded colonies in Iceland and Greenland, then actually green. Scandinavian seafarers discovered “Vinland” along the East Coast of North America. Warmer is way better!

        I became a skeptic when Dr. Mann tried to erase the MWP. For these clowns to say that the MWP was local flies in the face of overwhelming evidence. Truly disgusting.

        • Unlike warming over the last century, which is global, medieval warmth was localized … limited to Greenland, North America, England, Europe, Northern Asia, Australia, southern South America and southern Africa.
          Certainlt not global /snark

          • How do they know it was local, they only studied one site.

            Did they state that in the paper with references backing it up , or is that just the unpublished “expert” comment they provide to alarmist journos to print?

          • “Unlike warming over the last century, which is global”
            The last century warming seems to be no more global than the medieval warming.

        • And Mann’s HS was when I began to question as well. Then we found out he used the thermometer proxy from 1960 to hide the divergence (or ‘hide the decline’ as the email said).
          Then came the email which suggested that they were trying to erase the 1940’s land temp spike.
          But the final straw was the homogenisation of temps around 2010 when the ‘pause’ was happening.
          An example – De Bilt (Holland) ‘raw’ data
          https://data.giss.nasa.gov/cgi-bin/gistemp/show_station.cgi?id=633062600003&dt=1&ds=1
          Homogenised version
          https://data.giss.nasa.gov/cgi-bin/gistemp/stdata_show.cgi?id=633062600000&ds=5&dt=1
          GISS, HADCRUT, NOAA – they’re all at it. As you say, ‘truly disgusting’.

        • They have to say the warming was ‘localized’, otherwise they’d lose their funding. Or maybe they’re just cowards. Or not real scientists.

        • And Democracy is the worst form of government as long as you ignore all the other forms that have been tried from time to time

          • Democracy is nothing but mob rule where the rights of the minorities are trampled by the majority; individual rights be damned!

          • Let’s just say that there should be a balance between a collectivism and a monarchy and focus on quack climate science here people. Thank you.

      • Working in a key, unsupported opinion for which they did no independent or rigorous research into their research report. How scientific.

    • It is not new news as the same type of study was done at least 40 years ago using ‘modern’ criminal forensic techniques as well as the study of pollen and seeds. This was all demonstrated on a UK TV documentary showing that there was significant declining temperature as the Viking colony declined. Maybe as the Vikings left the reduction in farming allowed the fallow farmland to draw down CO2 and so it was their departure that lowered the temperatures /sarc.

    • Remember this warming was local, not global. The warming was unusual like that, but it must be local or else the deniers win and we are all doomed. The future of this planet depends on the warming being restricted to a small area of the earth.
      That is a heavy burden for a scientist trying to be objective and honest, carrying the weight of the world on his journey to discover the truth. It requires a special kind of strength to be able to keep moving independently and not cave in to peer preassure.

      • Indeed.

        I wrote a reply to Rich Davis above but it seems to have fallen into the bit bucket. This comment duplicates the content of the other one.

        There are two piles of evidence that the MWP was global.
        1 – Proxies. There are many scientific papers cited at co2science.org . link
        2 – Written history and archaeological evidence.

        The medieval warm period, which started a century earlier in Asia, benefited the rest of the globe as well. From the ninth through the thirteenth centuries, farming spread into northern portions of Russia. In the Far East, Chinese and Japanese farmers migrated north into Manchuria, the Amur Valley and northern Japan. The Vikings founded colonies in Iceland and Greenland, then actually green. Scandinavian seafarers discovered “Vinland” along the East Coast of North America.

        During the Northern Sung Dynasty (961 A.D. to 1127), one of the warmest times, real earnings in China reached a level not seen again until late in the twentieth century. The wealth of those centuries gave rise to a great flowering of art, writing, science, and the highest rate of technological advance in Chinese history. Chinese landscape painting with its exquisite detail and color achieved its apotheosis.

        Over roughly the same period, the peoples of the Indian subcontinent also prospered. Society was rich enough to create impressive temples, beautiful sculpture, and elaborate carvings. Seafaring empires thrived in Java and Sumatra. In the early twelfth century, the predecessors of the Cambodians, the Khmers, built the magnificent temple of Angkor Wat. In the eleventh century Burmese civilization reached a pinnacle with the construction of thousands of temples in its capital, Pagan.

        In the ninth century, the indigenous peoples of North America pushed their agriculture northward up the Mississippi, Missouri, and Illinois river basins. By 1000 they were farming in southwestern and western Wisconsin and eastern Minnesota. The Anasazi civilization of Mesa Verde flourished; the Mexicans began constructing their pyramids. Warmer is Richer

        I became a skeptic when Dr. Mann purported to erase the MWP. The fact that he could do that and not be smacked down immediately is a sign of how corrupt things have become. The evidence is very clear. There was a MWP. It was global. It was warmer than it is now.

        • Mann took out the LIA, too! You can’t keep the MWP and the LIA in if you want to make the present exceptional! Accepting 2°C natural variation kills the silly notion of a 1950 to 2100 increase of 0.7°C as dangerous. Three years ago, the worry was for 3-5+C increase over 1950’s by 2100.

          Having wound up with predictions from 1995 that were 300% too warm and a ‘Pause’ for two decades during which CO2 was galloping apace, they, without ceremony chopped the threshold for worry to 1.5C, not from 1950, but from 1850! This way, they bankrolled 0.8C already occurred, and added on 0.7C to destroy the planet by 2100. In other words, having had their theory roundly falsified, they segued into a determination that a few tenths of a degree more than what we have now and we’re toast!

      • They presented no evidence it was not global , as it was a localized study they have no business affirming that global hypothesis. Probably a necessary statement to get published . In fact they probably dont get funded if they expected to find warming instead of cooling

        • “They presented no evidence it was not global , as it was a localized study they have no business affirming that global hypothesis. ”
          I think they made that statement more as statement of fact, which needed no additional confirmation.

      • So the MWP was local, mostly in the far North.
        Ok, then the present warming is also local, mostly in the far North.

  2. We should all be living like the Vikings. Conquering, Raping, Pillaging …

    I read a study that claimed Global Warming is causing MORE crime. Due to the WARM weather.

    • All this talk about “robust Vikings” is beside the point. Robust or not, they went wherever there were prospects of profit, agricultural-wise, pillage-wise or otherwise. They did not engage in meaningless gung-ho displays of hardship. Nor were they a people; “Viking” is an activity, “to go viking”. They were supreme opportunists, raiding wherever possible, and trading where that was more profitable.

    • – You ARE familiar with Erik the Red’s fierce war cry?

      “NOOOO, NO! Loot and pillage FIRST – THEN burn! Ohhhhh…”

      • One of Erik’s more famous quotes:

        “It’s so hard to find good invading help nowadays! They all want to rape and pillage but they never want to do the killing first. geeeze!”

        Apparently the job market was in a downturn during the Medieval Warming Period.

  3. Can anyone get a link to the published original? Very interesting and adds to the pilling evidence of warmer medieval periods.

    • The paper is pay-walled. But you can read the Abstract here:
      https://pubs.geoscienceworld.org/gsa/geology/article-abstract/568708/medieval-warmth-confirmed-at-the-norse-eastern?redirectedFrom=fulltext

      As a note on the paper’s senior author, Yarrow. She wrote an opinion piece in Science Magazine about 2 months before Hillary went down in flames that November 2016.
      http://science.sciencemag.org/content/353/6303/1062
      She surely must have been one of those that cried for days/weeks/months at that. Buck up, Binky.

      On her NU webpage, she calls that Science essay “Outcomes for Womxn” . (Yes, with that spelling)

      Let’s hope she can keep her feminism and her politics out of her science.
      Admitting that Greenland was much warmer during the Norse colonization period than today (not just air temperature warmth, but surrounding SSTs had to be warmer as well.) may offer a climmer of hope she is trying.

      • It’s the opposite of your, sorry to say, naive hope, Joel. It is just another EuekAlert! propaganda effort to say that yeah, we can no longer deny that Greenland was warm, so we will just make up stuff about MWP being localized.

        Warm in Greenland for over four and a half centuries, sufficiently warm for agriculture, and undeniably not caused by human fossil fuel burning. So, a purely natural effect. Does that call into question any current claims of “unprecedented” warming? Well, of course not! We simply assert (against the evidence) that the MWP was a regional phenomenon, whereas this time the warming is totally different. It’s global!

        Nothing to see here people, localized effect, move on. World ending in 11 years, 11 months as scheduled.

        • That must be 11 years and 11 months from the most recent “last chance”. Because the original last chance expired years ago. We already killed ourselves off! We’re just too dumb to realize we’re actually dead.

      • I know someone who long ago worked their way up in research who did not have a college degree, in a government job no less. Simply talent realized. Is that group now discriminated against?

      • So her spelling, her politics and her science work are all the same brand of B.S. It boggles the mind that so many of these people are running around seemingly pre-occupied with imaging issues so they can assign blame.
        I think it’s a cover for some internal sense of their own inadequacies. Don’t know how else to explain it.

  4. When I was in elementary school in the 1950s, it was taught as a known fact that Greenland had a moderate climate during the time of Viking settlement, and the climate later turned colder.

    • Agree. I went to elementary school in Denmark in the 1940’s. We were told that as a fact. And the reason I “converted” to climate scepticism was actually the infamous hockey-stick graph, soon 20 years ago. As soon as I saw that graph all the worries I had harboured until then about unusual global warming disappeared like dew for the morning sun.

      • Andy,

        You are 20 years older than I, and I had the same experience in the US in elementary school. The “Mannian Hickey Stick” was also the thing that sent me into the “Science isn’t even begun yet alone settled” camp. It disagreed with everything I had been shown as historical and archaeological fact. I had seen the evidence of the medieval warm period and the little ice age and could not square that with that graph.

        I used to have historical discussions with people about the climate of the British Isles and discuss the vineyards in the Yorkshire area and the wines produced. They would be following along eagerly until I would ask the innocent question: “I wonder why they can’t do that now?” When the answer is “it is too cold to support the vines.” They closed off because now we were touching the doctrine of the church of climatology and no dissent can be allowed. Some would turn to the hymnal and claim, “the medieval warm period was localized to northern Europe.” When evidence is shown that China also experienced a like warming with certain fruit trees no longer viable in the north of the country that were prevalent in the medieval warm period, they turn to the next page of the hymnal and sing “the warmth was limited to the northern hemisphere, so sayeth the scripture.” Show them that there is evidence of similar warming in Chile and South Africa and they change to the next stage of Gospel of the Church of Climatology and shout “Science Den___” Thus I quit discussing it with them.

        • Sad, really. When (they) ignore all the facts and data they don’t like, they can hardly pretend to be on the “high horse” of supposed “science.”

          To be scientific, you have to consider ALL the data, especially that which appears to undermine your pet “theory.” The fact that the climate Nazis endlessly attempt to dismiss, disregard or re-write all the inconvenient history and/or data just shows you that their “cause” is all politics, all the time. Anything to keep the “climate change” golden goose laying those research funding “eggs.”

        • Owen,

          You say, regarding the “hockey-stick graph”, “It disagreed with everything I had been shown as historical and archaeological fact. I had seen the evidence of the medieval warm period and the little ice age and could not square that with that graph.”

          Me too.

          Skeptics were the original “me too” movement, as Alarmists thought they could get away with the rape of Truth.

    • That inconvenient fact has been eradicated for some time now. Greenland is warming unprecedentedly, so there is logically no possibility it could have been warmer than present. I think it all began in 1998, when El Niño spiked the temperatures to “hottest ever” and an accelerating exp(x) could be fitted with GISS. Then Al Gore needed money, and the rest is history.

    • Yes, but when climate alarmists say “the science is settled”, they mean the “science” that “proves” their beliefs.

      Any other science that says otherwise needs to be re-done, re-studied, re-booted, re-announced, etc. over, and over, and over again.

      Seriously, who didn’t know this?

    • I learned, in my first years in school, in the late 70-ies, that in the stone/ bronze-age the climate on earth was maybe 2C warmer and people as a result grew taller and helthier. Back rhen I was told the average male was a couple of cm talker than modern man. Epigenetics wernt a thing then other than Lysenkoism, I guess we may find out soon if lack of food stunts growth in your children and grandchildren if you yourself starve. Anyway, science was settled, 6000 years ago the earth was 2 degrees warmer, climate was wetter, more vegetation and less deserts. I guess they dont teach that anymore, and people have all forgotten. As people in the future will forget about global waming and live on as the scare never hapoened or was just a passing trend.

  5. Considering the type of farming the Norse were doing, Greenland should have been warmer then than now. Growing barley and raising dairy and beef cattle are not currently feasible in the parts of Greenland settled by the Norse.

    • I think the fact that the graves of the former Norse farmers being buried under permafrost today kind of “iced it” for me a long time ago. Greenland was definitely warmer during the MWP than it was now, just like the Earth was generally, as evidenced by those MWP-dated fossilized stumps where the trees used to grow above today’s mountain frost lines.

      Let’s see, physical evidence vs. pet hypotheses with no empirical evidence in support and “models” that assume the pet hypotheses with no empirical evidence in support to be factual.

      But the Climate Nazis call those skeptical of their BELIEFS “deniers,” LOL.

  6. the climate was exceptionally erratic and unstable, climate anomalies, climatic instability.

    …we should recognise that we are dealing with a coupled nonlinear chaotic system, and therefore that the long-term prediction of future climate states is not possible.” – IPCC AR4 WG1 Introduction:

    How do you define a chaotic climate as stable?

    • Oh yes, I missed that part in the YouFreakAlot! agitprop – the climate was exceptionally erratic and unstable – we’re supposed to draw the conclusion “just like today”.

      These people are sick in the mind or just plain evil. Is that still a thing?

      • “These people are sick in the mind or just plain evil”

        Embrace the healing power of “and,” Rich.

    • greenland lacks precision as an estimate.
      how green?
      green everywhere?
      how green in which season?

      but hey who cares about precision

      • Steven Mosher

        Who cares about science. Eh Stephen?

        I mean some people earned the term ‘scientist’. You were lucky enough to be handed the title without doing the hard graft.

        • David, further proof that Mr. Mosher gets his eyeballs whacked every time he Wanders in His Weedpatch.

      • No, no it’s Grønland, named after Stefan the Grøn. Nothing to do with the landscape. He was an early Viking enviromentalist.

        Yeah yeah /sarc

      • I’m at a loss, Mr. Mosher, why you continue to remain so smug, with so much attachment for the official narrative.
        You have seen the fraud first hand! On top of that, the evidence is overwhelmingly in support that CO2 is beneficial and that our planet has been much warmer in previous times.

        What is the benefit for you to continue to inject erroneous bias into the equation? Is it ego?
        I don’t like being wrong, and I don’t like you proving me wrong but you did once before and I had to eat crow. Why are you unwilling?

      • Steven, you have taken a troubling turn from your former common sense position. I’ve often told supporters and apologists for proponents of dangerous warming theory and for dyed-in-the-wool contrarians that it’s okay to be critical of your own side from time to time. It makes you personally more believable from time to time. Omnibus solidarity is not a trait of an independent thinker. I didn’t think I’d be giving you this advice.

    • The name was a marketing trick by Erik the Red. Not easy to get people to move there if the place was called “Glacier-land” or similar.

  7. I guess the news here is that the temperature “measurements” are from bugs in a lake near an old Viking settlement, and not from ice cores hundreds of miles away.
    But this is confusing:
    “the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) … probably was not in a dominantly positive phase for multiple Medieval centuries as had been hypothesized. (When the NAO is in its positive phase, it brings cold air to much of Greenland.)”
    But this was a warm spell, so why should the NAO bring cold air to Greenland?
    Of course there’s a gratuitous paean to Global Warming:
    ““Unlike warming over the past century, which is global, Medieval warmth was localized,” Axford said.”
    How would they know, from bugs at the bottom of one lake, how localized the warmth was?

    • Ms Yarrow “Binky” Axford is spouting out-of-dat, 18-year old dogma on the MWP as not being global. The IPCC TAR authors had to spew that line into all the textbooks and college course that Binky undoubtedly was raised on. She still spews that propaganda today whether she knows it or not.

      The Mesa Verde Chaco culture of the 4-Corners in the US would beg to differ with her less than scientific observation that the medieval warm period was local to Greenland/Northern Europe, unless she means by ‘local” as only on Earth and not the Moon.

      The Far View agriculture site at the Mesa Verde National Park, Colorado has this placard.
      [MVNP-Far-View-Res-placard.jpg]
      https://postimg.cc/grXcnhtx

      The Medieval Warm Period was certainly global in extent though not synchronous globally, with varying timing in the Southern Hemisphere (likely leading).

      The more recent literature (peer-reviewed) is finally catching to the reality the MWP was global:
      Some examples:
      The Pacific Ocean:
      – “Proxy records show that before the onset of modern anthropogenic warming, globally coherent cooling occurred from the Medieval Warm Period to the Little Ice Age.”
      The Little Ice Age and 20th-century deep Pacific cooling.
      G. Gebbie, P. Huybers
      Science 04 Jan 2019:
      Vol. 363, Issue 6422, pp. 70-74
      DOI: 10.1126/science.aar841
      http://science.sciencemag.org/content/363/6422/70

      The Summer Monsoons on the Indian sub-continent (ISM):
      “The intervals with lower δ18O values (stronger ISM) correspond with intervals of warmer periods observed in the NH temperature reconstruction such as ~800–1200, 1600–2300, 2900–3300, and 3800–4800 yr BP, which were associated with the Medieval Climate Anomaly (MCA), Roman Warm period (RWP), Minoan Warm period (MWP), and the late portion of the mid-Holocene Climate Optimum (HCO; Fig. 3)”
      The Indian monsoon variability and civilization changes in the Indian subcontinent
      Gayatri Kathayat, Hai Cheng, Ashish Sinha, Liang Yi, Xianglei Li, Haiwei Zhang, Hangying Li, Youfeng Ning1 and R. Lawrence Edwards
      Science Advances 13 Dec 2017:
      Vol. 3, no. 12, e1701296
      DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.170129
      http://advances.sciencemag.org/content/3/12/e1701296

      So Colorado, the Pacific Ocean, and the Indian sub-continent all today have many reconstructions showing the MWP was real at those locations.

      Ms Binky simply can’t reconcile her long held dogma with new information. Probably because they conflict with her hard-held climate religion views.

      • Joel,
        If a warm period is global in extent then it has to be synchronous. Claiming that the medieval warm period occurred at different times around the globe is the same thing as saying there was no such thing as a medieval warm period.

        • Saying they were not synchronous merely is saying the onset (warm-up) and end (cool-down) were not simultaneous across the globe in the proxy reconstructions. That is not saying they do not overlap across some smaller base period, like 1000-1100 AD defining the MWP.

          There can be many reasons for this of course, all perfectly understandable. The oceans control the climate. Some areas have more ocean than others. There are error bars (uncertainties) in the reconstructions. There are different proxy measures, such as measuring tree-rings, bugs, stalactites, corals, shells, etc.

          • Good reply, Joel. The large-scale complexity of the Earth is difficult to comprehend unless you travel around it a bit. It is easy to imagine climate-changing forces gaining effect in some areas more easily than others.

          • Joel,
            You are right there are many possible explainations but you appear to be starting with the assumption that there was a medieval warm period that was global in extent and then when that isn’t present in the proxies you look for reasons why the proxies are wrong. Why not start with what the proxies say — that different regions of the world warmed at different times. Natural variability across time and regions would then occasionally produce “global” warm periods due to nothing more than chance. A 100 year spell of warm weather might be nothing more than random noise.

        • It wasn’t 100% synchronous but it did overlap completely.

          Try a new pathetic excuse, that one’s expired.

          • Percy is only talking about the Medieval warming … that which was natural, but did not exist.

            Your point is meaningless because the global warming that we have today unique … it warms some areas … it cools some areas … it eliminates (or increases) snow in some areas.

            Today’s global warming is unique to circumstances that relate to issue of positive communication with respect to the understanding of the humankind’s world impact, and the peripheral relationship with the human condition.

            Ain’t that about right Percy?

    • Gratuitous? More like downright ideology! My understanding is that numerous studies have shot down the “team’s” baseless assertions.

  8. But,but..Team IPCC (TM ) assured us the medieval warm period never happened.
    And then ,well even if it did it was just a local event.
    It is getting so hard to keep track of our history,it keeps changing so fast.

    Funnily enough it was the IPCC Hookey Stick attempt to erase the Medieval that started my questioning of CAGW.
    Twain;”A lie will be halfway around the world,before truth even gets its boots on”.
    Now the question. Just how valuable are the proxies used for this study?

    • “He who joyfully marches in rank and file has already earned my contempt. He has been given a large brain by mistake, since for him the spinal cord would suffice.” — Albert Einstein

  9. “This warmer period was similar to southern Greenland’s temperatures today, which hover around 10-degrees Celsius (50-degrees Fahrenheit) in summer.”
    —————————————————–
    Not so. They grew crops that won’t grow there now. They buried their dead in graves that are in permafrost now. I don’t need to do any such studies to know this one is bogus, just plain historical and physical evidence shows clearly that it was considerably warmer then

    • That is the dissembling language that Progressive academics use when afflicted with an acute case of cognitive dissonance.

    • Hi Art,
      yoou worte: “They buried their dead in graves that are in permafrost now”.

      When temperatures remain as they are today, how thick will the active layer be there in 100 years? Especially when with slight warming the (increased) winter snow cover will isolate the soil from the cold air?

  10. The Vikings caused the warm weather. They were real He-men who drove big honking diesel powered Super-Duty pickups.

  11. Pssssh.

    OBVIOUSLY it was humanity that caused Greenland to be warm, just as we caused the LIA.

    It’s up to the next generation of climate, uh, researchers to find the link. Send them money so they can unravel the mystery!

    • Yes that’s settled science. After all, the climate changed and there were humans. What else could explain a phenomenon so unprecedented in the history of the planet?

  12. “Unlike warming over the past century, which is global, Medieval warmth was localized,” Axford said.

    Hasn’t that statement been refuted by half a dozen studies?

  13. “Unlike warming over the past century, which is global, Medieval warmth was localized,”

    There doesn’t seem to be a lot of evidence that some regions were cooler.

    The AGW crowd would much prefer the Medieval Warm Period was localized to specific areas.

    • One could say today’s warming is localized too – to cities and airports. Uncorrected UHI effects (which increase over time with increases in population, traffic, A/C use, etc.) probably account for much of the supposedly “climate change” caused temperature increase over pick-your-period.

    • lol That’s what I thought.
      Even when apparently attempting to do actual science these people just can’t stop themselves from inserting a few sentences to reassure the rest of the clan that they are still on-side.

    • But rest assured. All the places that haven’t been studied, it was colder.

      Just like today, most of the warming is isolated to places that don’t have thermometers.

      • Or places that do, but are artificially warmed by UHI effects for which no or inadequate uncertainty ranges have been applied*, as opposed to anything to do with “climate.”

        *I refuse to say “adjusted” any more, having just thought that over; the instrument reading is what it is, and should never be changed, as far as I’m concerned. Just apply appropriately expansive error bars to all of it to show how completely inconsequential the supposed amount of warming actually IS.

  14. As there are frequently doubts about the accuracy of proxies , I have a suggestion.

    Lets take a area where over at least the last 300 years there is a record of temperature, like most of the USA, then take a core from places such as lakes. Now if the proxies then confirm the known temperatures, we then can use them as a good indication of temperature elsewhere.

    MJE

  15. The article implies that their proxies have a time resolution that is not very precise – when they talk about climate swings, it could still imply many years of warm conditions, followed by cold periods, averaged out. Any resolution less than 50 years or so provides very little sense of actual climate swings – think about the last 300 hundred years in terms of purported global swings – LIA to the current warm period is pretty significant, particularly in terms of agricultural productivity, but came with much more extremes than the beginning and ending points would suggest, even in the last 100 years.

  16. I’m surprised that Justin Trudeau hasn’t “disappeared” the following (warning 9 megabyte PDF) The URL is http://www.collectionscanada.gc.ca/obj/s4/f2/dsk2/ftp04/mq22551.pdf It’s a thesis as part of an MA in Archeology. It’s rather dry reading. Page 15 of the thesis (physical page 26 of the PDF) mentions an estimated 1,000 to 2,000 cattle in the Vatnaverfi District, which would be rather difficult today.

    See also http://viking.archeurope.info/index.php?page=the-farm-beneath-the-sand

    For additional giggles, Google “garden under sandet” (including the quotes); I get 665 results.

  17. ““We went in with a hypothesis that we wouldn’t see warmth in this time period, in which case we might have had to explain how the Norse were hearty, robust folk who settled in Greenland during a cold snap,” Lasher said. “Instead, we found evidence for warmth. Later, as their settlements died out, apparently there was climatic instability. Maybe they weren’t as resilient to climate change as Greenland’s indigenous people, but climate is just one of many things that might have played a role.”

    so much for group think

    • Steven,
      The GroupThink shows up in their denial that the MWP was global. The hockey stick was of course a product of the first decade of the 21st Century by the hockey team you are so well acquainted with from the climate gate emails. The senior author quoted here was indoctrinated into the hockey stick as a Grad student during that period.
      The MWP was certainly a global phenomenon, albeit with diffing start-end times across the globe, perfectly understandable. The GroupThink is the near-religious denial of the MWP as a global phenom, because for that belief to die within the Group would mean an admission the very tenets of the Third AR and the hockey stick are wrong.

      And the fact that a pastoral society with a sea-faring connection to the outside world (Christianity and the need for livestock replenishment after a hard winter) is less climate resilient than small bands of hunter-gatherers (the Inuit) is hardly controversial.

    • Most people are capable of recognizing that a single counter example is not capable of refuting thousands of previous examples.

  18. Yet another recent paper on the MWP in South America.

    http://notrickszone.com/2018/11/03/new-study-medieval-warm-period-not-limited-to-north-atlantic-but-occurred-in-south-america-as-well/

    So, yes the MWP was regional, to include the Arctic, Southern Ocean, North Atlantic, South Atlantic, Indian Ocean, South Pacific, South American, North American, European, Asian, Antarctic, Australian and New Zealand regions, among others around the globe, from c. AD 800 to 1400, preceded and followed by the Dark Ages and LIA Cool Periods.

  19. “Greenland” – this is not news unless you are a Climate Change shyster.

  20. Does not the d18O level reflect the average over the entire area of oceanic evaporation and thus is not an indicator of merely local conditions. About the same time as this was happening, Icelanders logged a decrease in floating icebergs. Agriculture flourished in the area of the folgefoen icefield in Norway. These farms were later overwhelmed by ice which is now melting to reveal these farms for archaeological study. Same story in the Alps, and one presumes that only Roman warmeriod warmth permitted Hannibal to take his . So so elephants through the passes.
    So so much for only local that s justarrotting the party line. As for global warming being global look to the greaterpart of the continental US revord hightemperatures during dustbowl years..I am surprised that this lot published but we ay make”deniers” of them yet

  21. When the Vikings arrived to Southern Greenland the Inuit hadn’t reached there yet, so there were no indigenous people. The Inuit were migrating into Greenland from Canada taking advantage of the Medieval Warm Period, as the Vikings did. The Inuit, being better adapted to cold, displaced the indigenous population of Southern Greenland, the Vikings, during the early stages of the Little Ice Age.

    One of the main reasons the Viking colonies of Greenland prospered was the walrus tusk ivory, a luxury item in Europe at a time the elephant tusk ivory trade route had been disrupted. The ivory commerce provided Greenland Vikings with much needed European imports. The Little Ice Age coincided also with a decline in walrus tusk ivory value, making the colonies less prosperous at a bad time.

    It is usually a combination of causes what better explains changes.

  22. The destruction of the Medieval Warm Period continues. Since we have written records of it, what consensus climatists are doing is delimitating the warm conditions to the places where we have records. Everywhere else it did not exist.

  23. “Unlike warming over the past century, which is global, Medieval warmth was localized”/

    All of the evidence points to the contrary. There is ample evidence worldwide that the MWP was warmer than what went before and came after.

  24. climate, and therefore weather, changes constantly, our only option is to adapt, now and forever, as long as mankind exists.

    • YUP! And the best way to ensure our ability to do so is the continued, uninterrupted, unhindered, free og government interference ability to exploit fossil fuel energy.

  25. A couple of things stand out : no mention of the Vatican records of Viking Christian church wine production in Greenland.
    Secondly the Vikings refusal to mix with the more experienced locals and learn their survival tricks – imagine, the Viking marauding berserkers then lately Christian, being racist?
    And the strange reference to extreme erratic weather swings before it become too cold. Somehow I am reminded of the younger Dryas swings at the “end of the ice age” period long before, correlating with that new crater discovery in north Greenland.

    • The Norse were the locals.

      Inuit arrived later, entering Greenland to the north of the Norse settlements.

      They start eating fish, like the newcomers, but too little, too late. They had to option of sailing to Europe, which alternative for dealing with the onset of the Little Ice Age Eskimos lacked.

      • The derogative term Skraeling meaning barbarian savage and weakling shows the Viking racist attitude , never adapting the harpoon and the locals highly mobile boats that had ployed that area even during the ice age.
        Of course the word barbarian comes from the Greeks “they speak bar bar” who labelled the northerners meat eaters : Eskimo.
        As the sea froze further from land only those light boats work.
        As it happens the Norse (before Viking) went west to Vinland, even reaching Alaska – one was found on a beach with a spear wound – local Amerind tribes claimed it and a law from 1991 (Cheney I think) prevents autopsy.

  26. “Unlike warming over the past century, which is global, Medieval warmth was localized,” is a data-free statement. How does he know? He only has one data point. Since the method appears to be reasonable, find appropriate lakes in other areas and make some observations. Collect more data and then decide if this was magically local to one end of one island, a regional phenomena, or global – unless he is worried the answer won’t agree with his hypothesis.

  27. Yes, they were out to demonstrate that it was not warm, and found that it was.
    Thus, it was called regional global warming.
    As to the naming of Greenland.
    There have been real estate promoters “forever” it seems.
    Icelandic friends explain that the early pronunciation of “island” was phonetic.
    As in “easland”. The “s” was not silent. Eventually pronunciation drifted to Iceland.
    On real estate promotions, I grew up in the Okanagan Valley in southern British Columbia.
    North-South running valley with a series of lakes, one is 75 miles long.
    The climate in the valley is semi-arid and very pleasant. Ideal for fruit growing, Transportation on the big lake was by paddle wheeler beginning in the late 1800s.
    One community on the lake was established in 1905 and promoted as Summerland. Then the developer went up the lake some 20 miles and started Peachland.

  28. They make a lot of conclusions based on assumptions;
    A) They did not study many areas where they base assumptions or conclusions.
    B) Assumptions and conclusions based upon personal bias and beliefs.

    e.g.:

    “Because recent studies concluded that some glaciers were advancing around Greenland and nearby Arctic Canada during the time Vikings lived in southern Greenland,”

    “Axford and Lasher expected their data to indicate a much colder climate.
    Instead, they found that a brief warm period interrupted a consistent cooling climate trend driven by changes in Earth’s orbit.””

    This is sophistry in action.
    From 985 and 1450 C.E. it was warmer, these researchers describe the period as brief. While their personal bias is that an equivalent modern warming period since the LIA portends never-ending doom.

    “Near the end of the warm period, the climate was exceptionally erratic and unstable with record high and low temperatures that preceded Viking abandonment of Greenland. “

    In their ‘abstract, they state, “Highly variable δ18O values record an unstable climate at the end of the MCA, preceding Norse abandonment of Greenland”.

    Isn’t that amazing!? Fragments and pieces of insect skeletons provide sufficient resolution to declare “an unstable climate”. Researchers are able to identify “record high and low temperatures”?
    At what temporal resolution?
    Storm by storm? Day by day? Or perhaps decade by decade?
    Actually the temporal scale is subcentennial resolution over the past 3000 yr using aquatic insect subfossils preserved in lak{sic} sediments”.
    Exactly what does that mean over 3,000 years? 30 data points? 60 data points for fifty year intervals?
    Remember, the Norse period studied is 465 years; is that 4,8,12 data points?
    What is clear, using the words ”record high and low temperatures” is very presumptive.
    One begins to suspect a model is involved.

    “Overall, the climate was about 1.5-degrees Celsius warmer than the surrounding cooling centuries. This warmer period was similar to southern Greenland’s temperatures today, which hover around 10-degrees Celsius (50-degrees Fahrenheit) in summer.”

    At least 465 years of a warm climate similar to the modern warming period of less than two hundred years.

    Why do the researchers gloss over this finding?

    In another surprise, Axford and Lasher found that the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) — a natural fluctuation in atmospheric pressure that is often responsible for climate anomalies in the region — probably was not in a dominantly positive phase for multiple Medieval centuries as had been hypothesized. (When the NAO is in its positive phase, it brings cold air to much of Greenland.)”

    “Probably” Such a definitive term.
    These researchers entered into this study where their analysis of ” aquatic insect subfossils” is coupled with a number of gross assumptions, including the NAO phases. They did not study NAO phases!

    “We found that the NAO could not explain Medieval climatic changes at our site,” Lasher said. “That might call into question its use in explaining long-term climate change over the last 3,000 years elsewhere.”

    ”Might call into question”.

    “So what did cause the Vikings’ fortuitously warm climate? Lasher and Axford aren’t sure but speculate it might have been caused by warmer ocean currents in the region.”

    ”speculate it might have been caused by warmer ocean currents”; i.e. We do not know, so we assume.

    “The new data will be useful for climate modelers and climate researchers as they seek to understand and predict what might be in store for Greenland’s ice sheet as Earth warms rapidly in the future.”

    ”new data will be useful for climate modelers and climate researcher”.
    Here they imply climate models and climate researchers each benefit uniquely and individually.
    One doubts the benefits claim for both models and researchers. The climate researchers dependent upon climate models tend to avoid inconvenient data.

    “Unlike warming over the past century, which is global, Medieval warmth was localized,” Axford said. “We wanted to investigate what was happening in southern Greenland at that time because it’s a climatically complex part of the world where counterintuitive things can happen.”

    ” Medieval warmth was localized”coupled with ”counterintuitive things can happen” is more sophistry allowing the researchers to align with alarmist beliefs.
    Ignored is the simple fact that the Greenland colony depended upon shipping trade with the Norse homelands. Medieval warming must have joined the two as climate turning colder prevented or interrupted ship voyages.

    “The Norse settlements in Greenland collapsed as local climate apparently became exceptionally erratic, and then ultimately consistently cold.”

    “We went in with a hypothesis that we wouldn’t see warmth in this time period, …” Lasher said.
    “Instead, we found evidence for warmth. “

    At least they were honest regarding this inconvenient finding.

    “Later, as their settlements died out, apparently there was climatic instability.”

    More assumptions while keeping to a “climate disruption” meme.

    “Maybe they weren’t as resilient to climate change as Greenland’s indigenous people,
    but climate is just one of many things that might have played a role.”

    More ’I do not know’ assumptions and conclusions.

  29. here between 985 and 1450 C.E.

    just to be sure,
    please can someone help me out here:

    is this the same as between AD 985 and 1450?

    Why bring in C.E. ? what does it mean>>?

          • Before the international standardization of dates referring to the time of Christ, the usual way of numbering a year was from some preceding major event, like the ascension of an emperor, and the event would be explicitly named, e.g., “In the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar.” But in Christendom, due to general acknowledgement that Christ was more important than any king or emperor, and probably also for simplicity, it came to be more and more common to specify dates in reference to the time of Christ; still, however, with the reference point explicitly named: “in the year of our Lord” (or anno Domini, or simply A.D.).

            Even so, the practice of always specifying dates anno Domini was not universal until recently. In act, the U.S. Constitution was dated two ways:

            Done in Convention by the Unanimous Consent of the States present the Seventeenth Day of September in the Year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and Eighty seven and of the Independence of the United States of America the Twelfth<

            (And note that 1787 – 12 = 1775, not 1776, since the American Revolutionary War actually began in 1775.)

      • I’ve talked with people from other cultures. Many of them are less offended by AD than they are CE.
        Most cultures have their own dating systems, based on important events in their history. So they aren’t bothered by us using ours.

        What bothers them is declaring our system to be the “Common Era”. There is nothing common about it, and it is in reality nothing more than cultural imperalism to declare our dating system as the “common” one.

        • Every culture has a calendar – time and astronomy are common to all cultures. Some even with precession of 25,000 years – seek Tilak’s Arctic Home in the Orion. These ancient reckonings survive to this day in Hindu rituals, but precessed. They were developed north of 66 deg – where the Inuit today thrive.
          For the Norse – see Hamlet’s Mill – a treasure trove of archaeoastronomy!

          Not to mention our Gregorian calendar controversy…

          So cut out the touchy-feely decadence…

  30. “Unlike warming over the past century, which is global, Medieval warmth was localized,”

    Standard warmist lingo. I remember reading somewhere that there are potato terraces in the Andes from that time period in locations which are too cold to grow anything today.

    If the Vikings were not so tough, that may explain why they never won a Super Bowl.

  31. “Unlike warming over the past century, which is global, Medieval warmth was localized,”

    Except for the thousands of other places around the globe found to have been warm during this period.

  32. “The new data will be useful for climate modelers and climate researchers as they seek to understand and predict what might be in store for Greenland’s ice sheet as Earth warms rapidly in the future.”

    Useful> Howso, any more than similar data that has been available for some time? And how can they conclude from this “study” that the Mideaval Warming was a local event? THat is not at all explained. And note the foregone conclusion that the earth will warm rapidly in the future. That is extemely prsumtive, especially considering that 40 yrs ago, the Climate Change crowd was warning us of dangerous cooling in our futures. This analysis is hardly unbiased.

        • So what’s the significance of stating that January 2019 was warmer than normal on planet earth? Is it meaningful when much of the NH was freezing? It just points up the complexities of trying to quantify global temperature.

          Conditions that lasted hundreds of years in diverse geographies obviously should not be ignored (unless they contradict the political narrative).

  33. A new study may resolve an old debate about how tough the Vikings actually were.

    Notice the somewhat subtle inference here — that if it’s (or gets) too warm, you’re not “tough”. Yeah right, I’m sure the Vikings trying to make a living w/little in their possession, on an isolated, unoccupied, mostly barren, windswept land where little could grow, they weren’t tough at all, so they must have been soft!

  34. It has long been well known that the climate was warmer at least the first 200-300 years of the norse settlement in Greenland. That is proven by contemporary icelandic and norwegian sources that mention that barley could be grown in southern Greenland (confirmed by archaeology) and describes the customary sailing route from Iceland to Greenland, that later (14th century) had to be abandoned due to increasing sea ice.

    Barley can’t be grown in Greenland today, and the sailing route (straight west from Snaefelsnaes and then follow the Greenland coast southwards) is not viable today either.

    By the way chironomids are midges, not flies, but such minutiae are probably beneath the notice of press-release writers.

    • Try going to the beach in summer in Scotland – and wonder why are all those people sitting in their cars? The midges even get through most tents, and the minutiae eat you alive.

      • Chironomids are midges but fortunately vegetarian. They can be irritating when there are a lot of them around, but they don’t bite. Otherwise much of e g Iceland would be uninhabitable.

  35. Funny how widespread all that ‘local’ Medieval warming was….

    Archaeological and ice core evidence for temperatures warmer than today have been found all over the world, yet according to modern warmists any warming then was purely a local phenomena.

    Do you think someone is being somewhat disingenuous? Or simply toeing the party line to ensure publication?

  36. “Vikings grew barley in Greenland
    A sensational find at the bottom of an ancient rubbish heap in Greenland suggests that Vikings grew barley on the island 1,000 years ago.

    The Vikings are both famous and notorious for their like of beer and mead, and archaeologists have discussed for years whether Eric the Red (ca. 950-1010) and his followers had to make do without the golden drink when they settled in Greenland around the year 1,000…”

    http://sciencenordic.com/vikings-grew-barley-greenland

  37. “Instead, they found that a brief warm period interrupted a consistent cooling climate trend driven by changes in Earth’s orbit. ”

    Changes in the Earth’s orbit? Oh no – a natural variable, not CO2!!!

  38. “a brief warm period interrupted a consistent cooling climate trend driven by changes in Earth’s orbit.”
    __________________________________________________

    part of Northwestern Ph.D. candidate G. Everett Lasher’s dissertation research, based at Axford’s lab

    probably return from an innerspace LSD crash trip to the keys.

  39. Unlike warming over the past century, which is global, Medieval warmth was localized

    Nonsense. Plenty of temperature records show that warming over the past century was localized.

Comments are closed.