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Saturday, February 20, 2010

Seeing White in Greenland

I won first place in a Flickr photo contest with this image today.

I took this photo a few years ago while on the way home from Iceland. The captain announced that we were flying over Greenland, but the view out my window was a vast sea of white.

Amazingly, the small islands peaking out above the snow and ice are mountains that reach 10,000 feet in altitude (the highest peak at 12,139 feet is Mount Gunnbjorn). At it's thickest point, the snow and ice covering the country is almost two miles deep.

Three years ago, Air Greenland launched the first-ever commercial flights from the United States from Baltimore, but the route proved too unprofitable. However, the number of visitors who are attracted to stunning icebergs, glaciers and wide open spaces have doubled since 2002.

But visit before it's too late. Scientists report that melting of the ice sheet has accelerated nearly 16 percent since 1979 due to Global Warming. That equals to nearly 50 miles of ice per year.

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