For many years, the Arctic world of Greenland has been one of my favourite destinations when travelling around the world. And even though the fascinating Arctic wildlife and the unique Inuit culture impresses me each time I visit the beautiful country, there is especially one element the world’s largest island holds, that cannot be compared to any other place in the world: The great Greenland Ice Sheet.
The Greenland Ice Sheet
A Frozen Paradise on Earth
Some travel destinations are home to some of the oldest tourist attractions on earth while other places brag of large coral reefs or tropical rainforests. But Greenland has something of totally different nature as its claim to fame. The enormous Greenland Ice Sheet is one of only two ice sheets in the world and it offers a wide area of unexpected and fascinating terrain. The ice cap covers more than 80% of the total landmass of Greenland and currently it reaches a thickness of 3 kilometres. The majestic Greenland Ice Sheet has almost single-handedly formed the world’s perception of the Arctic country and it has been a huge part of forming the conditions of life on Greenland.
I have now visited this frozen paradise several times, but each time I am deeply impressed by the majestic and ice-covered nature Greenland offers. Especially the city Ilulissat, also known as ‘The Capital of Icebergs’, is one of my favorite places to visit when experiencing Greenland. The Ilulissat Icefjord is home of the largest collection of icebergs in Greenland. Each time I travel to Greenland, I find new and intriguing ways of discovering the majestic landscape of snow and ice. And whether it is by sailing, by hiking or from the above through flightseeing, it is a truly amazing experience each time.
The blue, white and gleaming landscape of Greenland is definitely something every world traveler should strive to experience. Sailing tours are some of the most comfortable ways of watching the majestic icebergs up close, but also kayaking through Greenland’s icy waters is a unique way of observing the amazing landscape. To explore the ice-covered world of Greenland is an experience which is hard to explain with words. As I saw some of the breathtaking icebergs for the first time, I was truly speechless. And as I found out that the portion of an iceberg visible above the water is only about 10% of the total iceberg, I was even more astonished. It is hard to find words to describe this fascinating world of ice and snow.
A Melting Arctic Wonder
Unfortunately, everything around this amazing Arctic world is not just paradise. Temperatures are rising and the climate is changing which both are factors affecting the world’s largest island. Global warming is a hot topic of discussion all over the world and these discussions are particularly relevant to Greenland. Especially the Ice Sheet is often mentioned in connection with the debate about climate changes and the global rising temperatures. This is due to the physical changes which are possible to experience with own eyes when visiting Greenland.
Sealers and whalers of Greenland say that the sea ice is 3 feet thinner than it was earlier and recent studies show that Greenland is going to lose more ice than it is gaining. All these results are consequences of global warming affecting the everyday life, the nature, and the wildlife in Greenland. The Official National Tourism Board of Greenland has developed an infographic highlighting the terrible consequences of climate changes. This shows that several animal species such as the incredible polar bear is threatened by the melting ice. The infographic is available here. greenland-climate-changes-infographic
Even though some people still deny the fact that global warming is a worldwide problem, most people is about to realize that the world is changing. The crucial question is of course whether the changes are caused by man or by natural development. But no matter what, the great Arctic wonder is threatened, which makes Greenland an even more important destination to visit. This frozen paradise should definitely be experienced before it is too late.