Greenland Used to Be Green. Really

23.01.2013

The largest island on Earth, that belongs to Denmark, is an ice-cold Arctic desert nowadays. A thousand years ago it was all green, the scientists say. Remember, in geography class teachers used to say that Erik the Red, viking and founder of first Norse settlement in Greenland, called this ice desert a green land in order to confuse the enemies.

Square territory of Greenland ice shield keeps decreasing

As a matter of fact, in 980s, when Erik the Red first came to the island, it was really green, scientists discovered. Back in those times the Earth was at the peak of global warming period. The shores were covered by grasslands, while forests could be found in the middle of the islands. Climate of Greenland was comfortably moderate.

Nowadays, Greenland is the least dendely inhabited autonomous territory on Earth. In fact, it's only the south-western shore that is inhabited, while the rest of the island is covered with a permafrost shield.