Greenland. The research reports on the melting Greenland
ice sheet were numerous during the year. An American study
in February showed that increasingly warmer seawater eats
into the ice beneath the surface of the water and bursts
from the Greenland ice cover.
However, according to another study, the ice in the polar
regions melts only half as fast as previously thought. This
would be because researchers forgot to take into account the
land rise, which resulted in the size of the ice sheets and
thus the melting being calculated incorrectly. According to
the new calculations, Greenland loses more than 100 billion
tonnes of ice a year instead of the previously estimated 230
During the year, a huge island of ice, 260 square
kilometers large and 200 meters thick, was reported to have
broken out of the Petermann glacier in Greenland. The huge
block of ice was reported to be the largest in close to half
a century that has come off the archaic ice.
This year's record-breaking summer, according to climate
scientists, meant that 540 cubic kilometers of ice
disappeared from Greenland. It should have been 25 to 50
percent more than normal and the largest ice melt since the
temperature in Greenland began to be measured in 1873.
In June, it was reported that more than 40 percent of
Kuummiut residents had tuberculosis bacteria. According to a
previous Danish survey, every tenth child in Greenland
carries the bacterium, in southern Greenland every fifth.
After a quarter-century ban, Greenland was given the
right to hunt humpback whales again during the year. After
threatening to retire from the International Whaling
Commission (IWC), Greenland's Inuit as indigenous people
In August, indications of oil discoveries off the west
coast of Greenland were reported, raising expectations for a
Greenland oil boom. At the same time, the BP oil company
announced that it was giving up attempts to drill for oil in
the Arctic. The Greenland government did not grant BP a
license in Greenland following the company's oil disaster in
the Gulf of Mexico. Greenpeace activists, who temporarily
managed to occupy a drilling rig west of Greenland, said an
accident similar to that in the Gulf of Mexico would have
even worse consequences in the Arctic climate and in an area
with a lack of infrastructure.
In October, Jonathan Motzfeldt, who was named Greenland's
father, passed away. He turned 72. Motzfeldt led Greenland
to self-government from Denmark in 1979 and became the first
Greenlandic head of government.