1947 Time Magazine Shock News : There Was An MWP

June 16, 1947

Greenland is getting greener and Iceland’s ice is shrinking. The Arctic is losing its chill. According to Dr. Hans Ahlmann, professor of geography at Stockholm University, all the cold lands around the northernmost Atlantic are entering a balmier climatological era.

Dr. Ahlmann has been collecting evidence from a variety of sources: temperature records, glaciers, trees, fish. In the Scandinavian countries, he says, the winters have been getting milder since the 19th Century.

In the heyday of the Vikings, before 1300 A.D., the populous republic of Iceland lived largely by agriculture; the Norse raised sheep in Greenland, where no sheep graze today. After 1300, the cold crept down and the Icelanders gave up farming. The Greenlanders were exterminated, perhaps by starvation, perhaps by glacier-fleeing Eskimos. Now that the tide has turned, Dr. Ahlmann, a good Norseman, hopes the warm cycle will last for at least a few centuries.


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3 Responses to 1947 Time Magazine Shock News : There Was An MWP

  1. gator69 says:

    Vikings losing to Eskimos? Not bloody likely. Leaving because they were starving and freezing their asses off? Likely.

  2. They all emigrated when GHCN told them that they had been reading thermometers wrong and that it was really much colder.


  3. Ivan says:

    A good description of the passing of the MWP:
    “Then it is mentioned that, according to certain title deeds of properly going back to 1561, on the mountain slopes of the Vivarais, where now the vine crops of grapes used to be gathered at the height of 600 meters, no longer bear fruit. Again, in the neighborhood of Carcassonne, the cultivation of the olive has receded some fifteen or sixteen kilometers to the southward from the latitude to which it extended a hundred years ago. The sugarcane has disappeared from Provence, where it has been acclimatised. The orange trees of Hyeres, the cultivation of which extended in the sixteenth century as far as the village of Ouers, have been smitten with disease under a sky which is no longer favorable to their growth, and have had to be replaced by hardier fruit trees, such as peaches and almonds. In the Swiss Alps the ice line has invaded summits formerly covered with magnificent forests, of which the massive trunks and sturdy roots are still found in situ. In Germany the vegetation of the steppe shows itself in our own day in the midst of tracts formerly fertile.”
    ~20 Jan 1880

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