Adapting to the Little Ice Age in pastoral regions: An interdisciplinary approach to climate history in north-west Europe

Livestock farming communities in Ireland and Scotland responded to the Little Ice Age through various climate adaptation strategies.
Pollen and archaeology are used to study their response. The researchers concluded that small-scale grain farming on upland pastures began in the Middle Ages by comparing field evidence with Bayesian climate reconstructions.
This cultivation helped pastoralists meet climatic change, rural population growth, and market demands for food and fodder. However, further research is needed to understand climate-induced pastoral land use shifts’ temporal resolution and socio-economic history.

Image courtesy of interviewee. November 24, 2023

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