Greenland. At the beginning of the year, a study from
Yale University in the US published that in the long term
the Gulf Stream in the Atlantic is threatened by a dramatic
weakening of the carbon dioxide content in the atmosphere.
The study confirmed earlier fears that the melting of
Greenland's inland ice dilutes the seawater with fresh water
and risks disturbing the circulation of the warm Gulf
Stream. This could lead to strong cooling in the North
Atlantic, which would affect the entire Nordic climate.
In June, western Greenland was shaken by an earthquake
that measured 4.0 on the Richter scale. This led to a
massive tsunami that swept over the coast, triggered a huge
landslide, killed four people, destroyed many houses and
forced the population to evacuate.
So strong earthquakes are not common in Greenland, but
according to geologists, the pressure on the earth's crust
relieves as glaciers melt and retreat. It can trigger
earthquakes by releasing tension in the crust.
In retrospect, US data models calculated that the tsunami
reached enormous heights, up to 90 meters when the water was
squeezed into the Karrat Fjord. However, there were no
settlements. Where the tsunami reached inhabited areas, it
is believed to have been about ten meters high.
Denmark and Greenland agreed during the year that 30
million Danish crowns a year should be set aside for at
least five years to clear up at the abandoned American
nuclear camp Camp Century in northwestern Greenland. Denmark
also sent an expedition to the then abandoned half-century
base, which is embedded in the inland ice. The intention is
to find out what happens when the ice melts over, among
other things, a nuclear reactor (used for electricity
supply), millions of liters of waste water and about 9,000
tonnes of scrap. The United States has had several military
bases in Greenland and still has the Thule air base in the
The UN agency UNESCO decided in July to designate the
Greenlandic cultural landscape Kujataa as a World Heritage
Site. It is a 350 square kilometer agricultural area in
southwestern Greenland, where Vikings, other Norwegians and
Inuit throughout history have used the relatively mild
climate on the island's southern tip for cultivation and
In September, data came out that Greenland's inland ice
is growing again after melting for a couple of decades.
Danish climate scientists found that the last twelve months
have meant that ice and snow have increased in quantity in
Greenland. It was the first time since the turn of the
millennium that scientists were able to confirm this. For
years, otherwise the glaciers have calved off so much ice
that the snowfall could not compensate for the losses.
However, since September 2016, the picture has been the
opposite, as the snowfall has been so heavy.