A thousand years ago, powerful Viking chieftans flourished in Norway’s Lofoten Islands, above the Arctic Circle. In an environment frequently hovering on the edge of survivability, small shifts in climate or sea level could mean life or death. People had to constantly adapt, making their living from the land and the sea as best they could.
The rise of the Vikings was not a sudden event, but part of a long continuum of human development in the harsh conditions of northern Scandinavia. How did the Vikings make a living over the long term, and what might have influenced their brief florescence? Today, their experiences may provide a kind of object lesson on how changing climate can affect civilizations.
A team of researchers from Columbia University and the Republic of Fiji has found a unique and time-effective way to improve the design of marine protected areas in on coastal fisheries in Fiji—and, potentially, around the world. This method, which was used to assess a proposed temporary fishery closure in the village of Nagigi, Fiji, is described in a study published in the open-access journal PLOS ONE by Abigail Golden of Columbia University and colleagues from Columbia, the Wildlife Conservation Society, and the University of the South Pacific.