cod fishery

In the chilly 24-hour daylight of a spring night, Lamont-Doherty climatologist William D’Andrea surveys Borgpollen, an inland bay on the island of Vestvagoya. Connected to the Atlantic Ocean by a series of passages, the bay once was home to Vikings and their seagoing ships. Some of the islands’ best crop and grazing land is in surrounding hills and valleys, but it was often marginal, depending on weather.

Photo Essay: Climate Change, Sea Level and the Vikings

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.

by |September 26, 2017
Out on the water, D’Andrea (right) and William & Mary student Moussa Dia assemble a mechanism that they will use to take a core of the bottom.

What the Vikings Can Teach Us About Adapting to Climate Change

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.

by |September 26, 2017
Atlantic cod, Gadus morhua. Photo: Hans-Petter Fjeld via Wikimedia Commons.

Climate and Cod

A new study finds that the climatological phenomenon known as the North Atlantic Oscillation contributes to fluctuations in the cod population off the New England coast, and could help fishery managers protect the population from future collapse.

by |July 27, 2016