Saturday, October 26, 2019

Greenlands Climate Essay -- Greenland Weather Environment Essays Pape

Greenland's Climate Anyone who can locate Greenland on a world map knows that the world’s largest island is not a sunny tropical paradise. Greenland is a place of climactic extremes, lying mostly within the Arctic Circle, where dog sleds are preferable to cars for out-of-town transportation. Residents of Greenland can by no means ignore the weather. Climate has played a leading role in Greenland’s history and even today plays a large part in any Greenlander’s existence. It is responsible not only for the state of their economy, but also for the limits that exist on their infrastructure today. In short, Greenland is a society that has been forced to accommodate its climate and which has a great deal at stake regarding the peculiarities of the same. European colonization of Greenland has over the past thousand years has been inconsistent, and the wellbeing of its residents has been directly linked to the climate. The Old Norse Greenlanders, who arrived around AD 950, came during a period of unusual warmth(Lamb, 175). Having the luxury of living in a Greenland that was actually green, the Norse raised crops and livestock in ground that today is permanently frozen. The mistake the Norse settlers made was to assume that Greenland’s climate, which had been suitable for their way of life for more than two centuries, would remain so, and ultimately it was a shift in climate that resulted in their demise. Starting about half way through the 13 th century, a cooling trend developed, and by 1369, regular communication between Greenland and the rest of Europe ceased due to ice sheets encroaching on the shipping routes that took vessels past Greenland (Lamb, 187). It was around this time that the more northern of the two Norse settl eme... ...uld otherwise significantly raise the sea level. Greenland is a society that relies on a very delicate balance of weather factors to remain viable. The balance is maybe less precarious for many other parts of the world, but a change in the status quo of the climate always has the possibility to upset society on a biblical scale. Advanced as humans are as a species, we have not by any means developed to the point where we can force the climate to accommodate us. Works Cited Lamb, H.H. Climate, History, and the Modern World. New York: Routledge, 2002. â€Å"Lonely Planet: Destination Greenland.† The Lonely Planet. 2003. Accessed: 12 December, 2004. â€Å"The World Factbook – Greenland.† CIA World Factbook. Accessed: 12 December, 2004.

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