Greenland: Climate Change in a Frozen Paradise

The majestic ice-covered landscape of Greenland is incredible, but will it remain under the threat of climate change? Global warming affects the people, nature and wildlife in the Arctic.

Polar bear in Greenland. Photo courtesy VisitGreenland.com
Polar bear in Greenland. Photo courtesy VisitGreenland.com

The Arctic Wildlife of Greenland

Another point on my checklist while visiting Greenland was to explore some of the Arctic wildlife here. In Kangerlussuaq, the musk oxen are very concentrated and easy to see when they’re grazing in the greenery landscape. Besides that, the frozen paradise is host to polar bears, Arctic foxes, reindeers and many other incredible animals.

Also in the deep dark ocean, the Arctic wildlife is amazing, especially the whales, which should be experienced at close hand. The variety of different species are enormous. One can often see humpback whales, the huge blue whale and the white beluga whale.

Personally, I wanted to get as close to the whales as possible. I booked a trip on a boat, where an experienced boat driver was ready to point out the whales for us. I had settled my expectations extremely high for this whale-watching trip. Yet, they were all fulfilled and the trip was truly fantastic. To stand on a boat in the middle of the big Arctic ocean and suddenly hear the noise of a whale exhaling is an intriguing experience! Whale watching is also represented on the list of the “big Artic five”, which I clearly understand.

Greenland: A Melting Arctic Wonder

Unfortunately, the majestic ice-covered landscape in Greenland is threatened by worldwide climate changes. As a result of global warming, the ice in Greenland is melting. The Arctic wildlife are the most affected. One of the vulnerable animals is the polar bear. For these big beautiful predators, it becomes much more difficult to hunt when the ice is diminished. The polar bear is adjusted to life in the Arctic, which is why their fur is white as snow. This helps in their hunting. Without the ice, a polar bear would be much easier to discover.

Another hardship the polar bears endure with diminishing ice is having to swim longer distances to hunt. There has already been a documented increase in the numbers of drowned polar bears.

In addition, the unique Inuit culture in Greenland is threatened by the climate changes. Since the first immigration at Thule, about 4000-5000 years ago, the population in Greenland has depended on hunting and the country’s natural resources. For the locals, decreasing numbers of wildlife, which they depend on, make it harder to survive. Although Greenland is amazing in so many ways, the country does not have the climate for effective agriculture.

Greenland is a melting Arctic wonder. Photo courtesy VisitGreenland.com
Greenland is a melting Arctic wonder. Photo courtesy VisitGreenland.com

I am saddened by the fact that this beautiful Arctic wonder is threatened by the terrible consequences of climate changes. Greenland has become one of my favorite destinations, and I hope that others can discover this beautiful Arctic world. If this country truly is changing and the ice disappearing, Greenland is definitely a place to visit before it’s too late.

Luckily, climate changes and global warming are hot topics of discussion all over the world right now. Hopefully, this brings the terrible consequences affecting Greenland into focus. The people of Greenland know all too well how the changes have affected them, and they are striving to help others understand. (The Official National Tourism Board of Greenland is already fighting to bring this issue into focus. They’ve created an infographic highlighting several countries and animal species threatened by the melting ice. See http://www.greenland.com/en/about-greenland/nature-climate/climate-changes/)

I feel lucky to have seen Greenland and its natural wonders. I only hope that it will retain its incredible wildlife and majestic beauty for others to experience too.

If You Go

Visit Greenland
Greenland.com

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