Sermiligaaq settlement near the Sermilik Fjord
1. GREENLAND (Kalaallit Nunaat in Greenlandic; Grønland in Danish): the world’s biggest non-continental island.
2. Capital: Nuuk, largest “city” with a population of nearly 18,000.
3. Political status: home rule. Self-governing in judicial affairs, policing and natural resources but Denmark controls foreign policy and defense.
Greenland is a constituent country of the Kingdom of Denmark, which realm comprises Denmark proper, the Faroe Islands, and Greenland.
4. Total area: 2,166,086 sq km (836.330 sq mi).
5. Total population: Estimated at 55,877 in January 2018. 82% Greenlandic Inuit, 12% Danes and other Europeans.
The four biggest “cities” after Nuuk have a population of between 5000 and 3000. In all, there are more than 60 settlements.
Houses are brightly-colored.
6. Sole official language: Greenlandic.
7. Ice sheet, some as thick as 3 km (1.86 mi) and with a volume of approximately 2,850,000 km3 (680,000 cu mi), covers 80% of Greenland! The melting of Greenlandic glaciers will raise the planet’s sea level alarmingly but will also make oil and other mineral explorations possible at last. A mouth-watering prospect for some.
8. What if Greenland’s ice sheet melted away completely? The sea level around the world would rise by more than 7 m (23 ft)!
9. Vegetation: sparse. But the southern part of the island is suitable for agriculture. Farm animals are rare but plenty of sled dogs notwithstanding the snowmobiles making inroads into the glacial landscape.
10. POTUS Trump wasn’t the only American leader who wanted to buy Greenland or parts of it. For strategic reasons, the U.S. wanted to swap Alaska with Greenland in 1946. When that fell through, the proposal morphed into paying $100 million for the Arctic island.
11. Other countries are jockeying for more than just a foothold in Greenland. Russia and China especially. For strategic and economic reasons.
Feel like visiting the island that Trump has put back on the map?
Greenland Official Tourism Site: https://visitgreenland.com/
Featured image/Ray Swi-hymn, CC BY-SA2.0
Nuuk/Algkalv (talk), CC BY-SA3.0
Apusiaajik glacier/MarkusTrienke, CC BY-SA2.0
Vatnahverfi/jtstewart, CC BY-SA2.0
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