It was previously believed that the Vikings abandoned the Eastern Settlement (an area in southern Greenland settled by the Norse in the late X century A.D.) in the early XV century, because of the onset of the ‘Little Ice Age’ that made it too cold to farm. Indeed, a recent study of the University of Massachusetts Amherst suggests that the temperature in southern Greenland remained fairly even, but it did become drier over time, and an extended drought might have made it difficult to grow enough fodder to feed livestock over the winter. Drought may have forced the Vikings to abandon the Eastern Settlement, so the researchers concluded. Read more: