Epic sea level rise drove Vikings out of Greenland


The Vikings are remembered as fierce fighters, but even these mighty warriors were no match for climate change. Scientists recently found that ice sheet growth and sea level rise led to massive coastal flooding that inundated Norse farms and ultimately drove the Vikings out of Greenland in the 15th century.

The Vikings first established a foothold in southern Greenland around A.D. 985 with the arrival of Erik Thorvaldsson, also known as “Erik the Red,” a Norwegian-born explorer who sailed to Greenland after being exiled from Iceland. Other Viking settlers soon followed, forming communities in Eystribyggð (Eastern Settlement) and Vestribyggð (Western Settlement) that thrived for centuries. (At the time of the Vikings’ arrival, Greenland was already inhabited by people of the Dorset Culture, an Indigenous group that preceded the arrival of the Inuit people in the Arctic, according to the University of California Riverside).



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