The Climate of L’Anse aux Meadows in “The Settlement”

The modern climate at L'Anse aux Meadows differs from what it was in the eleventh century. […] A significant finding is that even a fluctuation of only 1░ Celsius can have a major impact on local conditions. During the last few decades of the twentieth century, L'Anse aux Meadows usually experienced snow between December and mid-May with a cover of as much as 1 m on the ground, although the snow cover was highly uneven because of the often strong winds blowing it into drifts and baring some spots. In 1998 when the average winter temperature lay 2░C above what we have come to consider 'normal', there was no snow at all on the site, and May 1998 was as warm as July of a 'normal' year. This was the type of weather prevalent around the year 1000. It is thus likely that in the early eleventh century most winters were snow-free. Through the evidence of core samples in the bog, we can say that that there was no permafrost on the site before c. AD 1500 which is another indicator of a warmer climate. […]

Source: Birgitta Linderoth Wallace, "[The Climate of L’Anse aux Meadows in] The Settlement" in Westward Vikings: The Saga of L’Anse aux Meadows, (St John’s, NL: Historic Sites Association of Newfoundland and Labrador, 2006), 37.

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