What if Doggerland had survived?
December 2, 2018 8:37 AM   Subscribe

I understand why they stopped with the speculation once we got to recorded history, but I still wish they'd gone on a bit more.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 8:47 AM on December 2, 2018

Ancient Ys Vanished
posted by glonous keming at 8:56 AM on December 2, 2018 [1 favorite]

posted by Horace Rumpole at 9:39 AM on December 2, 2018 [4 favorites]

This is fun but of course not very realistic. There is no intermediate analogue for the kind of long-term stable sea levels we have enjoyed in interglacial Holocene-like conditions. Most of the past two million years the sea level has not been low enough to expose all of doggerland - you need full glacial maximum conditions for that. For most of the Pleistocene the sea level has been between about 40 and 80 metres lower than modern - and very unstable relative to today - so coastlines would have been regularly shifting up and down the landscape and the notion of a large permanent settlement at the mouth of the Rhein-Thames system is unlikely.

In other words, there is no known stable intermediate condition between sea levels being at modern and being at -120 metres globally. The latter comes with glacial maximum climatic conditions. The essence of life at "just a few degrees cooler" would be an unstable and hazardous climatic regime, based on the last few million years of experience on Earth, with large portions of Doggerland (and the continental shelf around Europe/the World) being repetitively drowned and dried out.
posted by Rumple at 10:52 AM on December 2, 2018 [8 favorites]

More to the point, what if Doggoland had survived? We’d be living in a pupper paradise rather than 2018. What a fallen world.
posted by GenjiandProust at 12:12 PM on December 2, 2018 [15 favorites]

What a fun alt.history prompt. Thank you, Morpeth.

I wonder about that very narrow gap between England+Scotland and Ireland. Would it have loomed so large in history as La Manche?
posted by doctornemo at 12:46 PM on December 2, 2018

 If World War 1 was rerun...

The Republic of Doggerland is destroyed in 1503 in a mutually annihilating nuclear war with the Kingdom of Prester John.
posted by justsomebodythatyouusedtoknow at 12:47 PM on December 2, 2018 [5 favorites]

I mentioned it before in another thread about a drowned forest off the Gulf Coast, but there's a Time Team episode from 2007—Britain's Drowned World—that shows what Doggerland's low terrain was up against as the seas rose.  The host Tony Robinson lays out just how rapid a 2 cm a year rise can translate to on such flat land.

It's a lovely idea, if only for the Atlantean Romantic in all of us, but its existence was always precarious.
posted by los pantalones del muerte at 3:04 PM on December 2, 2018 [2 favorites]

Brexit would be WAY more complicated, with all the moat digging and suchlike that would be required.
posted by EndsOfInvention at 3:40 AM on December 3, 2018 [1 favorite]

Came for the doggers, was disappointed. I blame Johnny Wallflower for setting my expectations.
posted by briank at 6:46 AM on December 3, 2018 [1 favorite]

Odd Dogger Bank trivia via Wikipedia: in 1904 a Russian fleet shelled some North Sea English fishing boats, thought they were Japanese.
posted by ovvl at 9:33 AM on December 3, 2018

Doggerland: We Have Always Been At War With Catalonia.
posted by Joe in Australia at 5:21 PM on December 3, 2018 [1 favorite]

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