Greenland's ice sheet covers most of the island, over 656,000 square miles (1.7 million square kilometres), three times the size of Texas. Summer melt of this ice sheet increased by 30 percent from 1979 through 2006, and reached a new record in 2007, according to the U.S. National Snow and Ice Data Center in Colorado.
Here’s an interesting piece of news from Tim Webb at the Guardian about Greenland’s latest pitch to the oil industry: pay us $2 billion dollars, and then you can drill. Greenland — which is divided on whether the recent interest of global companies in its oil and gas resources is a blessing or a curse — has evidently been seriously spooked by the Gulf spill.
And with good cause. A major oil spill in the Arctic would be a hideous mess.
And as for Steele's suggestion that Greenland was named so because it was covered in vegetation and not ice at the time, one could deploy the same logic to argue that the West Indies migrated halfway around the globe over the past five centuries. Alternatively, one could say it's just a name.
The island was christened "Greenland" in the 10th century AD by Erik the Red, who picked the verdant moniker to attract settlers from Iceland. Mr. the Red wasn't trying to scam prospective Greenlanders: the southern portion of the island really did have green valleys, as it does today.
Greenland may be among the world's chilliest nations, but these days, talk of independence is heating things up.
The notion of cutting ties to the mother country, Denmark, was raised earlier this year during an address by Greenland's prime minister. The world's largest island, with just 55,000 people, has had home rule since 1979 but is still technically part of Denmark.
In September, Dr Hubbard revealed photographs which he said showed the extent to which part of a huge glacier in northern Greenland has broken up in two years.
Dr Alun Hubbard of Aberystwyth University said he was "gobsmacked" by the scale of the Petermann Glacier's break-up since he last visited in 2009.
Last year, it shed a piece of ice measuring 77 sq m (200 sq km).
Located in north west Greenland, the Petermann Glacier accounts for 6% of the area of the Greenland ice sheet, said Dr Hubbard.
After living in complete darkness for a chunk of winter, one might think Greenland citizens would be happy to finally see sunlight. But instead, the first sight of sun sent residents of Ilulissat, a town on the western coast, into a panic, with good reason - the sun supposedly rose two days early.
According to LiveScience, Ilulissat is about three degrees north of the Arctic Circle - where the sun doesn't set during summer solstice, and the sun doesn't rise on winter solstice.
The Inugguit speak a unique language based on sighs and groans in which words can be up to 50 letters long. They have lived as hunter-gatherers in Greenland's remote Thule region for centuries, hunting seals and narwhals with harpoons.
Dr Leonard's aim was to study and record as much as he could of their oral culture - stories, myths, songs and folklore which have only ever existed in Inuktun.
His fear is that if the Inugguit leave their homeland in search of better employment prospects in south-west Greenland, both the language and the cultural heritage will, within a few generations, disappear.
Greenlanders get asked some fairly predictable questions when they're out and about in the world. They get asked, for instance, if it's winter all year long in Greenland. (No.) They get asked if they live in igloos. (No.) And they get asked if it's true that Iceland is really green, and Greenland is really ice. (Sort of. For now.)
Though Greenland lives large in the world's imagination, the world hasn't always put much effort into imagining what life is like for Greenland's 56,000 residents.
Greenland won limited home rule from the Kingdom of Denmark in 1979, but Copenhagen continues to run the island's defense and foreign policy.
The island, which is more than three times the size of Texas, is heavily dependent on fishing and subsidies from the Danish government, but retreating Arctic ice may make it more feasible to drill for oil and mine for minerals.
The United States maintains its northernmost Air Force base on the island, a radar and listening post at Thule.
If you think that leaving the EU would be catastrophic, take a look at Greenland. By rights its people ought to be poor. Their island is isolated, suffers from freezing weather, has a workforce of only 28,000 and relies on fish for 82 per cent of its exports. But it turns out that since leaving the EU, Greenland has been so freed of EU red tape and of the destruction of the Common Fisheries Policy, that the average income of the islanders today is higher than those living in Britain, Germany and France.