Greenland, Greenland, Greenland …

April 24, 2007 at 3:59 pm | Posted in Climate change, Google Earth, Greenland, Iceland | 3 Comments

Greenland and Iceland on Google Earth

An island made by global warming

By Michael McCarthy, Environmental Editor, The Independent Online

Published: 24 April 2007

The map of Greenland will have to be redrawn. A new island has appeared off its coast, suddenly separated from the mainland by the melting of Greenland’s enormous ice sheet, a development that is being seen as the most alarming sign of global warming.

Several miles long, the island was once thought to be the tip of a peninsula halfway up Greenland’s remote east coast but a glacier joining it to the mainland has melted away completely, leaving it surrounded by sea.

read more in the Independent …

The map above is today’s image from Google Earth (which could be from images two or three years old, I have heard …)

If you hear any rumours that Greenland must have been green when Eric the Red landed there, here’s the latest official explanation:

Why is it actually called Greenland?

According to the sagas, it was the Viking Erik the Red, who gave Greenland its name. Having been exiled from both his native Norway and later also from Iceland, he headed west and discovered a country with an inviting fjord landscape and fertile, green valleys. Once back in Iceland he spread the word of the good opportunities for starting a new life in the new country which he called ‘The green land’ – and in the summer it really is green here.

More Greenland facts and history



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  1. Another sign of changing times. Do we really think humans and their societies will or, even can do something to stop this juggernaut? I’m beginning to doubt it. Maybe all we can do is adapt.

  2. Hi matt,

    Yes, I am still optimistic we can mitigate as well as adapt. The sad thing is that many right wing blogs use Greenland as a good example of the Medieval Warm Period having been beneficial which leads them to claim that not only can we do nothing about global warming, but it must be good for some areas too.

    Meanwhile, March 2007 saw the start of International Polar Year 2007-2008. Worth checking if you write anything about glaciers on your blog!

    Also, on Monday, an interview with Dr. Susan Solomon was published on SciencePoles, which I may write a separate post about today, time-permitting …

    P.S. I first heard about IPY months ago, looking for examples of projects mapping activity using Google Earth.

    P.P.S. It also reminded me of the true story of the volcanic island that appeared in August 2006 when the Maiken yacht crew were nearby—their photojournal says it all.

  3. […] you to inel for highlighting this article in The […]

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