When President Donald Trump mentioned the possibility of acquiring Greenland, most people took it as just another Trumpese pie in the sky, words hardly worth mentioning. If nothing else, it did focus some attention on the icy island.
Pundits responded with words of wisdom about the 839,999-square-mile island with a population of about 57,000 people in the Arctic Circle, which is home to a U.S. air base. There were airmen from this area that spent long cold years stationed there.
Columnists whose writings appear in The Missourian have broadened our interest in Greenland. From Pat Buchanan we learned that a number of other presidents stated an interest in acquiring Greenland, owned by Denmark and which has said the island is not for sale. President Harry Truman in 1946 offered Denmark $100 million in gold for the island. That offer was rejected.
Buchanan reported that China is interested in the world’s largest island, located between America and Europe, amid the Arctic and Atlantic Ocean.
The idea of buying Greenland is no joke, according to Columnist Mark A. Thiessen, whose writings are in today’s Missourian, and who pointed out that the island has enormous unexplored stores of natural resources, including zinc, lead, iron ore, diamonds, copper and uranium “that Denmark has been unable or unwilling to exploit.”
He adds that Greenland has untapped stores of rare-earth elements that we now have to buy from China.
NASA scientists are very much interested in Greenland. On a regular basis they are tracking melting ice there. They are trying to determine whether the melting is being caused by more warm air or warm seawater. Warm water brings heat to something frozen faster than air does. An AP story said what they willearn could be crucial to the Earth’s future.
If the melting ice is caused more by water “there’s a lot higher potential for Greenland to melt more quickly than we thought,” said NASA scientist Josh Willis. And that means seas rising faster and coastal communities being inundated more, according to the AP story. If all the ice in Greenland melts, that would cause world sea levels to rise by 20 feet. There is no doubt the ice shield is melting.
It also has been learned that climate change is eating away at Greenland’s glaciers in two ways: from warm air above and from salty water, some of it from North America’s Gulf Steam, hitting the glaciers from below.
What’s happening in Greenland is being watched closely and for obvious reasons.