“What we discovered is that, while the temperature barely changed over the course of the Norse settlement of southern Greenland, it became steadily drier over time,” says lead author and geoscientist Boyang Zhao, also from UMass Amherst and now at Brown University.
When life is already teetering on the brink, every year of drought is one more nail in the coffin.
Potential breakdowns in social ties, a tendency to have smaller families, and even a drop in the value of walrus tusks with growing trade for elephant ivory from elsewhere may have made tough times of drought that much harder to endure. Social collapse is a complicated business, after all.
But when you’re living in a land that isn’t as green as promised, even the hardiest Vikings would find years of drought just too much to bare.
Wild how dependent humans really are on water. Turns out Vikings and Chia Pets aren’t so different after all, no water and they’re in trouble.
Now I want a Chia Viking!