Travel & Food

GREENLAND – SEE THE EFFECTS OF GLOBAL WARMING

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After seeing a great many documentaries on global warming it seems like an interesting idea to go to Greenland to see the effects of global warming.

Greenland is beginning to draw attention from tourists who want to see the effects of climate change for themselves.

Visitors fly into Kangerlussuaq, the site of a former United States military base. The foot of the polar ice cap there is a popular picnicking spot for tourists, where they stare at a 250-foot wall of ice that, if it melts, has the potential to raise the world’s oceans by 24 feet, some researchers have estimated.

A popular destination is the Ilulissat ice fjord, a 45-minute flight from Kangerlussuaq and the site of the fastest retreating glacier in the Northern Hemisphere. A few years ago, the fjord was 25 miles long, but the melting of the glacier has lengthened the fjord to 31 miles, a change that has made it one of Greenland’s most visible examples of climate change.

The fjord is full of icebergs calving from the bordering mountains of ice. Cruises to see the ice cracking and falling are very popular at the moment.

A melting Arctic means that its ecosystem will not last forever, and the threatened wildlife is another draw. Polar bears, which have gotten the most attention as victims of global warming, are rarely sighted, but excursions to see whales — including the narwhal, with its nine-foot unicorn horn — and musk oxen are usually successful. These animals are not yet endangered and tourists can enjoy many of them, including seal and reindeer, in the wild.

Perhaps the greatest visual evidence of global warming in Greenland is Warming Island, a hand-shaped island off the east coast discovered in 2005 by an American, Dennis Schmitt. In years past, it was connected to the mainland by ice and presumed to be part of the same mass.

This is all evidence of climate change and global warming. It is a very delicate topic in Greenland as they of course would like to have greater numbers of tourists but of course this must be handled very carefully so as not to add to the problem.

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