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Januray 7, 2008
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Archeological Research on Vikings
Disproves Global Warming

by Allen Quist
August 10, 2009

[For more information on the Vikings exploration and settlements in America and Greenland, see CMods.org, Unit II, #6.]
 
Recent archeological discoveries on the Viking settlements in Greenland, along with various historical records, disprove the theory of man-made global warming. This information is of utmost importance as Congress considers sweeping legislation intended to combat global warming supposedly caused by human activity.
 
The Vikings settled Greenland in the 980's AD. Archeologists estimate that three to five thousand Scandinavians lived in three main settlements there at the height of the colonies' success. Over 400 farms in Greenland have been excavated along with the remains of eleven or more churches.
 
The colony was so successful that in 1126 a Catholic diocese was founded at Garšar, Greenland (now Igaliku). The Catholic Church sent several Bishops and a number of priests to Greenland to serve the congregations there.
 
The Greenland settlements at that time could be successful because the climate was far warmer than today. Archeological excavations have revealed extensive birch woodlands with birch trees up to 6 meters high in the area around the inner parts of the Tunuliarfik and Aniaaq fjords, the central area of the Eastern settlement. Excavations and various written records have also shown that the hills grew lush grass and willow brush. This vegetation was due to the Medieval Climate Optimum, an extended period of warm climate that made Viking-style life in Greenland feasible.
 
The climate in Greenland was relatively warm during the first centuries of the settlement but became increasingly colder in the 13th, 14th and 15th centuries with the approaching Little Ice Age. Because of the colder climate, the agricultural settlements in Greenland failed in about 1350, and the fishing settlements ceased around 1500.

Archeologists have discovered numerous indications of the climate change. For example, skeletal remains of the inhabitants buried in the early years of the settlements indicate the average height of the inhabitants was 5'7". By the waning years, however, the average height had diminished to 5' or even less. Similarly, the graves dug for the early settlers were six feet deep. Toward the end of the settlement's history, in contrast, the graves were only two feet deep because of the onset of permafrost.

Excavations of garbage heaps from the Viking farms in both Greenland and Iceland show a shift from the bones of cows and pigs to those of sheep and goats which are more tolerant of a cold climate. The typical Greenlander's diet had also changed from mostly domesticated animals to primarily wild sea animals.

No mention is made of icebergs in the early years of the settlements, but in the later years sailing routes had to be changed to minimize the danger of sea ice. Ivar Bardsson, a Norwegian priest who lived in Greenland from 1341 to 1364, wrote: "From Snefelsness in Iceland, to Greenland, the shortest way: two days and three nights. Sailing due west. in...the sea there are reefs called Gunbiernershier. That was the old route, but now the ice is come from the north, so close to the reefs that none can sail by the old route without risking his life" [ibid].  In 1492 the Pope said that no bishop had been able to visit Greenland for 80 years on account of icebergs [ibid]. Cod could no longer be caught since they didn't come close enough for the small boats of the Greenlanders because the water close to Greenland had become so cold.
 
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As summarized by the chart above, Greenland and surrounding environs were far warmer 1,000 years ago than today-long before any of us drove SUVs or burned fossil fuels. Climate change is primarily a naturally occurring phenomenon. Human activity is, at most, a relatively minor factor. The theory of man-made climate change is proven false.
 
The real cause of climate change is primarily sun activity. The correlation between sun activity and global temperature is described in the following chart drawn by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration:
 
 
 

About the Author

Allen Quist is Professor of Political Science at Bethany Lutheran College in Mankato, Minnesota. He is a widely recognized writer, speaker and author. Quist served three terms in the Minnesota House of Representatives from 1983 to 1988. He has been a member of two school boards and holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree from Gustavus Adolphus College (St. Peter, MN), a Master of Arts degree from Mankato State University (Mankato, MN). He was the Republican endorsed candidate for Minnesota Governor in 1994, and was one of seven delegates elected from Minnesota to the White House Conference on Families in 1980.
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