Oslo joint seminar in atmospheric, ocean and climate science, November 12
Speaker: Manon Bajard, Dept. of Geosciences, UiO
Title: Instability or adaptation of the pre-Viking society to the climate variability of the Late Antiquity?
Speaker: Manon Bajard, Dept. of Geosciences
Understanding how agricultural societies were impacted and adapted to past climate variations is critical to adapt to contemporary climate change and guaranty the food security. However, linking climate and change in the behaviour of a population are difficult to evidence. Here, we studied the climate variations of the period between 200 and 1300 CE and its impact on the pre-Viking and Viking societies in south Norway. We used a retrospective approach combining a multi-proxy analysis of lake sediments, including geochemical and palynological analyses to reconstruct past changes in temperature and agricultural practices during the period 200-1300 CE. The periods 200-300 and 800-1300 CE were warmer than the period between 300 and 800 CE, which corresponds in the North Hemisphere to the “Dark Ages Cold Period”. During this colder period, phases dominated by grazing activities (300-400 CE, 470-560 CE, 650-750 CE) alternated with phases dominated by the cultivation of cereals and hemp (before 300 CE, 400-500 CE, 560-650 CE, and after 800 CE). The alternation of these phases is synchronous of temperature changes. Cold periods are associated to livestock farming, and warmer periods to crop farming. This result suggests that when temperature no longer allowed crop farming, the food production specialized in animal breeding. Our results show that the pre-Viking society adapted their agricultural practices to the climate variability of the Late Antiquity and that the Vikings expanded with climate warming.
What is the Joint Oslo Seminar (JOS):
Atmospheric and climate sciences have a stronghold in Oslo among the four institutions University of Oslo, the Meteorological Institute, CICERO and NILU. This joint seminar invites renowned international experts to contribute to an informal series of lectures, meant to create interaction with the Oslo atmospheric and climate science community on recent highlights and analysis in the field. All seminars will be held on Thursdays (Noon -1pm).