Past people

How has climate impacted the evolution of past peoples and societies?

Medieval disappearance of the Greenlandic Norse

A deterioration in coastal climate conditions in southwest Greenland during the late Medieval Period (ca. 9th-14th centuries) has long been contended as a possible cause of the demise of the Greenlandic Norse settlements. However, precisely dated and locally situated evidence that unambiguously supports this hypothesis has proved wanting. To retackle this long-sought question, I’ve compiled a multi-proxy array of locally situated and teleconnected sediment and glacier ice records, which I’m using to assess the timing of past abrupt climate changes in relation to the disappearance of the Greenlandic Norse colonies.

This work is currently in preparation - stay tuned!


Osman, M.: Rapid west Greenland climate changes foreshadow collapse of Norse settlements. in prep.