Greenland is shrinking at alarming rate


Graphic by Drew Brummer

Although Greenland is not physically shrinking, the country is losing significant landmass.



   The idea of losing a land mass a fifth the size of the United States is becoming an unfathomable reality. The land is a Danish independent territory: Greenland, the world largest island, has lost 5,000 gigatons of ice since 1972. 

   Each single gigaton measures to 1 billion metric tons, which 5,000,000,000,000,000 kg. This dramatic loss of ice from the Northern Hemisphere’s largest ice mass can and will change the sea level to the extent as 6 meters (20 feet) as of 2050. 

   This will not only affect the local ocean water around Greenland but will eventually affect our beautiful island of Gulf Breeze, pushing our coast lines further inland. 

   Now hypothetically speaking, if we find an across-the-board fix to climate change; most of the damage is already done. The heightened temperature caused by global warming has increased the amount of vitamin filled run off being drained into the Arctic Ocean. 

   Which means a flourish meant of nutrients, right? Thus, means the large growth of algae under the sheets has expanded. Ice sheet meaning a layer of ice covering an extensive tract of land.

    80% of Greenland is concluded to be ice sheet, or what is to be called The Inland Ice. July 31st went on to be the largest surface melt, reports say since 2012. 

   As of August 1st, on the Greenland ice sheet, close to 60% of the far-reaching ice canvas showed signs of surface melting. As well as the higher elevations that only rarely see temperatures above freezing anymore saw signs of surface melting.

   The most recent census states that as of July 29th, 2019, the population stands at a 56,681 people. Of these about 12% are Danish and 88% are Inuit (Indigenous people).  This is interesting due to the fact that Denmark owns this “country” but only 12% of the people on the island are Danish. Since 1917 Greenland has been part of Denmark. 

   Again, touching upon the fact that this giant melting ice cap is independent meaning they rule themselves. Greenland has a representing High Commissioner and a Prime Minister, all elected by Parliament, Greenland’s own legislative branch.  

   We as a community needs to be more cautious about what we are doing to the planet. The human’s population has done more harm to the earth than any natural contributor has is the last million years.