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Ogilvie, Astrid E.J.
Publications (4 of 4) Show all publications
Ogilvie, A. E. .. (2015). An Ancient Enemy Observed: Images of Sea Ice in Selected Narratives of Iceland from the Settlement to the Late Nineteenth Century. In: Martin Gustavsson and Dag Retsö (Ed.), Långa linjer och många fält: Festskrift till Johan Söderberg (pp. 137-155). Stockholm: Acta Universitatis Stockholmensis
Open this publication in new window or tab >>An Ancient Enemy Observed: Images of Sea Ice in Selected Narratives of Iceland from the Settlement to the Late Nineteenth Century
2015 (English)In: Långa linjer och många fält: Festskrift till Johan Söderberg / [ed] Martin Gustavsson and Dag Retsö, Stockholm: Acta Universitatis Stockholmensis , 2015, p. 137-155Chapter in book (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

When thinking of Iceland, two specific types of ice come to mind: the ice that is formed on the many glaciers in the country, and the sea ice that is brought to the coasts by winds and ocean currents. Because of space constraints in this volume, the discussion here will focus entirely on the phenomenon of sea ice. This paper is not concerned with ice as a scientific phenomenon, but with the image of sea ice as presented in a variety of different narrative genres concerning Iceland. However, a few words of elucidation will set the stage for the discussion. Ice on the sea is formed in two main ways. Either by being broken off in the form of ice bergs from calving glaciers, or else it may form directly on the surface of the sea as frozen seawater. Most of the ice reaching Iceland is of the latter kind, and arrives by way of the East Greenland current. It is the northern, northwestern, and eastern coasts of Iceland which are most frequently affected, and, in the past, it occurred most often in the winter and spring seasons. It is an infrequent visitor in the present climate.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Acta Universitatis Stockholmensis, 2015
Series
Stockholm Studies in Economic History, ISSN 0346-8305 ; 65
National Category
Other Humanities not elsewhere specified Economic History
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:miun:diva-26754 (URN)978-91-981947-7-7 (ISBN)978-91-981947-6-0 (ISBN)
Available from: 2016-01-07 Created: 2015-12-28 Last updated: 2016-04-25Bibliographically approved
Ogilvie, A. E. .., Sigurðardóttir, R., Júlíusson, Á., Hreinsson, V. & Hicks, M. (2015). Climate, Grass Growth, and Hay Yield in Northeastern Iceland A.D. 1700 to 1950. In: Program and Abstracts: 45th International Arctic Workshop, Bergen, Norway, 10-13 May 2015. Paper presented at 45th International Arctic Workshop (pp. 80-81).
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Climate, Grass Growth, and Hay Yield in Northeastern Iceland A.D. 1700 to 1950
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2015 (English)In: Program and Abstracts: 45th International Arctic Workshop, Bergen, Norway, 10-13 May 2015, 2015, p. 80-81Conference paper, Published paper (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

This presentation will focus on climate impacts of hay and grass harvesting in the Mývatn area in the northeastern highlands of Iceland. Mývatn means “Midge Lake” and refers to the flies or midges, of vital importance for the local ecosystem, providing food for fish and waterbirds. Until the early part of the twentieth century, the inhabitants of the area lived almost entirely on the proceeds of the land by farming, fishing for trout, and collecting the eggs of wild birds. With its North Atlantic location, marginal for agriculture, grass was the only viable crop in Iceland, and the economy focused primarily on animal husbandry until comparatively recent times. Thus, the success or failure of the all-important grass crop, coupled with winter rangeland grazing, was the one aspect of the economy on which all else rested. The successful harvesting of hay was thus the farmers’ most important annual task. If there was not enough hay in the winter to feed the livestock they could die, and this could lead to famine and death among the human population. This unfortunate train of events occurred many times in Iceland’s history, and not least in the Mývatn district.

National Category
Other Humanities not elsewhere specified Economic History
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:miun:diva-26755 (URN)
Conference
45th International Arctic Workshop
Available from: 2016-01-07 Created: 2015-12-28 Last updated: 2016-04-25Bibliographically approved
Ogilvie, A. E. .. (2015). Documentary Evidence of Changes in Climate and Sea-Ice Incidence in Iceland During the Last Millennium. In: : . Paper presented at Polar Climate and Environmental Change in the Last Millennium, Nicolaus Copernicus University, Torún, Poland, 24-27 August 2015.
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Documentary Evidence of Changes in Climate and Sea-Ice Incidence in Iceland During the Last Millennium
2015 (English)Conference paper, Oral presentation with published abstract (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

In this presentation, documentary sources of climate change will be described and evaluated, and the information gathered from them will be used to cast light on variations in the climate of Iceland over the last 1000 years or so. Prior to AD 1600 the data are fairly sporadic, but after that time it is possible to re-construct temperature and sea-ice indices. A scrutiny of the sources indicates that there has been a great deal of climatic variability from early settlement times to the present day. From ca. 1640 to ca. 1680 there appears to have been little sea ice off Iceland’s coasts. During the period 1600 to 1850, the decades with most ice present were probably the 1780s, early 1800s and the 1830s. From 1840 to 1855 there was virtually no ice off the coasts. From that time to 1860 there was frequent ice again, although the incidence does not seem to have been as heavy as in the earlier part of the century. Further clusters of sea-ice years occurred again from ca. 1864 to 1872. Several very heavy sea-ice years occurred during the 1880s. From 1900 onwards sea-ice incidence falls off dramatically. As regards temperature variations, a cooling trend may be seen around the beginning and end of the seventeenth century. However, these periods are separated by a mild period from ca. 1640 to 1670. The early decades of the 1700s were relatively mild in comparison with the very cold 1690s, 1730s, 1740s and 1750s. The 1760s and 1770s show a return to a milder regime in comparison. The 1780s are likely to have been the coldest decade of the century, but this was compounded by volcanic activity. The 1801s, 1830s and 1880s were also comparatively cold.

National Category
Other Humanities not elsewhere specified
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:miun:diva-26843 (URN)
Conference
Polar Climate and Environmental Change in the Last Millennium, Nicolaus Copernicus University, Torún, Poland, 24-27 August 2015
Note

keynote lecture

Available from: 2016-01-07 Created: 2016-01-07 Last updated: 2016-04-25Bibliographically approved
Ogilvie, A. E. .. (2015). Mountain Farming in Northeast Iceland. In: : . Paper presented at Perth III: Mountains of our Future Earth Conference, The Centre for Mountain Studies, Perth, Scotland, 4-8 October, 2015.
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Mountain Farming in Northeast Iceland
2015 (English)Conference paper, Oral presentation with published abstract (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

This presentation will focus on hay and grass harvesting in the Mývatn area in the northeastern highlands of Iceland during the period ca. 1700 to 1950. Mývatn refers to the lake that is the most significant geographical feature of the region. The name literally means “Midge Lake” and refers to the flies or midges, of vital importance for the local ecosystem, that provide food for fish and waterbirds. Mývatn is regarded as one of Iceland’s most precious natural treasures. The lake and its outflowing river, the Laxá, are renowned as a breeding ground for a large number of species of migratory waterfowl. Mývatn and the Laxá river were protected by law in 1974, and in 1978 placed on the RAMSAR list of wetlands of international importance (http://www.ramsar.org/). The area may have been one of the first regions of Iceland to be settled, and is unique in the way that it has practiced sustainable natural extraction for its most vital resources for an extended period of time. Part of the reason for this lies in the rich natural resources of the area. Until the early part of the twentieth century, the inhabitants lived almost entirely on the proceeds of the land by farming, fishing for trout in the lake, and collecting the eggs of wild birds. However, the area has experienced a series of “boom and bust” cycles in terms of the identification and use of its natural resources, and it is noteworthy that soil erosion has ravaged the area and the adjacent hinterlands at alarming rates (Júlíusson, 2001; Hicks, 2014). In recent decades, economic and social life has changed radically, accompanied by a very rapid increase in tourism.

 

The original settlers to Iceland in the late ninth century brought with them a way of life that focused on a farming economy based on animal husbandry. Cattle, sheep, and horses were the main domestic animals. With its North Atlantic location, marginal for agriculture, grass was the only viable crop. Thus, the success or failure of the all-important grass crop, coupled with winter rangeland grazing, was the one aspect of the economy on which all else rested. The significance of this cannot be overemphasized, and the single most important activity for the farmer was to gather enough hay to keep the livestock fed over the winter. If the harvest failed, and the livestock starved, then the human population was also subject to major stressors leading to malnutrition, social dislocation, and ultimately death.

National Category
Other Humanities not elsewhere specified
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:miun:diva-26844 (URN)
Conference
Perth III: Mountains of our Future Earth Conference, The Centre for Mountain Studies, Perth, Scotland, 4-8 October, 2015
Available from: 2016-01-07 Created: 2016-01-07 Last updated: 2016-04-25Bibliographically approved
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