Greenland is a self-governed Danish territory lying between the Arctic and Atlantic Oceans. Though geographically and ethnically an Arctic island nation associated with the continent of North America, politically and historically Greenland is closely tied to Europe. Greenland is, depending on definition, one of the largest islands in the world, and possibly the largest; it also has the lowest population density. Greenland has a population of 57,100, where about 15,500 live the capital Nuuk. The official languages of Greenland are Greenlandic (Kalaallisut) and Danish, and most of the population speak both of the languages. Greenlandic is spoken by about 50,000 people, some of whom are monolingual. A minority of Danish migrants with no Inuit ancestry speak Danish as their first, or only, language. English is widely spoken as a third language.

Some history
Greenland was a Norwegian dependency from the eleventh century until 1814. At that time, the kingdom of Denmark-Norway found itself on the losing side of the Napoleonic Wars. In gratitude to Sweden for her assistance in defeating Napoleon (and as a consolation for the recent loss of Finland to Russia), mainland Norway and certain Norwegian territories were transferred to Sweden — thus, the personal union of Norway and Denmark ended. The dependencies of Greenland, Iceland and the Faeroe Islands, however, remained part of the reorganised "Kingdom of Denmark."

Greenland became an integral part of the Kingdom of Denmark in 1953. It was granted home rule by the Folketing (Danish parliament) in 1978. The law went into effect on May 1, 1979. The Queen of Denmark, Margrethe II, remains Greenland's Head of State. Greenlandic voters subsequently chose to leave the European Economic Community upon achieving self-rule

The flag syblolice the sun,the ocean and the ice sheet. 21th of June is the national day.

Nuuk (Godthåb)

Nuuk (Godthåb) is the capital and largest city of Greenland and is situated just by the Godthåbsfjord on the west coast, some 240km south of the arctic circle. The climate is subarctic with an average mean temperature of 7 degrees centigrades in July and minus 8 degrees in January. The city has a population of about 15500 whom includes both inuits and danes, as well as some of inuit orgin, but with danish language. Then Greenland was granted home rule in 1979, the name Nuuk was taken in to use, though the danish name Godthåb still is in use by the danes living there.

Towns and settlemens on the costline and in the fjords
Almost everyone in Greenland lives by the coast or the fjords. There is a total of 18 town/cities and another 60 settlements. It is mainly on the west coast most of the people live, about 52000, while there is only 3000 on the whole eastern coast. Most of the settlements are rather small, typical 30-75 inhabitants. About 9500 inhabitants live in settlements, while 47000 live in the towns.

There is allmost no roads in Greenland and most of the transport is done by sea or by air. The main airport in Kangerlussauq serves as an hub for the inland network of air transport, which is mostly operated by the Air Greenland. There is almost daily connections to Copenhagen in Denmark from Kangerlussauq, and also connection from Narsarsuaq in the south to Copenhagen. On the east coast there is connections between Kulusuk (Tasiilaq) to Reykjavik, as well as from Constable point (Scoresbysund) to Reykjavik. Between the towns and settlements on the west coast there is flights operated by Dash7 planes or S61 helicopters. Some places are served several times a day, however, smaller towns and settlements might just have 2 connections a week

Starting this year, Air greenland now has added a summer route from Baltimore in Usa to Kangerlussuaq. Air Iceland has also started to fly between Nuuk and Reykjavik. While there is a substansial transport of people by boat on the west coast, there is only cargotransport on the east coast.



Tasiilaq, the bigges town on east Greenland

The climate on Greenland is mostly of arctic kin, which means that the mean temperature in the warmest month do not reach +10°C. Some places, like deep valleys in the extention of the fjords, might have temepratures just above this level. The wast area means that there is considerable variations in the climate. The annaual percipitation vary from 800-1400m, while some of the northern parts only has 200mm, as well as some places allmost with out any percipitation (E.g. Peary Land) and is considered arctic desert.






The Ice sheet
The Greenland Ice Sheet, or "Inland ice" (Indlandsisen in danish), covers an area of about 80per cent of the total lan area. It streaches about 2400km in north/south direction and has the larges with of about 1100km. Mean altitude above sea level is 2135 and higest point 3290meters. The layer of ice is typical 2000-3000 meters thick and if it all melted, the worlds oceans would rise by about seven meters.

The highest mountain is Gunnbjørn (3,700 m).


Northeast Greenland National Park
Northeast Greenland National Park is the largest national park in the world, with an area of 972,000 square kilometres (375,000 square miles). It is also the only national park in Greenland. The park encompasses the entire northeastern coastline and interior sections of Greenland, which is the largest island on Earth. Originally created on 22 May 1974, the park was expanded in 1988 to its present size. In January 1977 it was designated an international biosphere reserve. It is overseen by the Greenland Department of Environment and Nature.

The park has virtually no permanent human population. In 1986, the permanent population of the park was 40, living at Mesters Vig although 400 sites saw occasional summertime use. These 40 were involved in cleanup and closeout operations at mining exploration sites and soon left. Recently only 27 people and about 110 dogs were present over winter in North East Greenland:


Greenland suffered economic contraction in the early 1990s, but since 1993 the economy has improved. The Greenland Home Rule Government (GHRG) has pursued a tight fiscal policy since the late 1980s which has helped create surpluses in the public budget and low inflation. Since 1990, Greenland has registered a foreign trade deficit following the closure of the last remaining lead and zinc mine in 1990. Greenland today is critically dependent on fishing and fish exports; the shrimp fishing industry is by far the largest income earner. Despite resumption of several interesting hydrocarbon and mineral exploration activities, it will take several years before production can materialize. Tourism is the only sector offering any near-term potential and even this is limited due to a short season and high costs. The public sector, including publicly owned enterprises and the municipalities, plays the dominant role in Greenland's economy. About half the government revenues come from grants from the Danish Government, an important supplement to the gross domestic product (GDP). GDP per capita is equivalent to that of the weaker economies of Europe.

The Government of Greenland does not have control of Greenland's military or foreign affairs. The defense of Greenland is the responsibility of Denmark. Several American and Danish military bases are located in Greenland, including the US Thule Air Base. During the cold war the US operated several bases and radar stations throughout Greenland. The Danish army operates a dog sled patrol called Sirius-patruljen, based in Daneborg. Greenland also has a coastguard that patrols the Greenlandic coast and carries out search and rescue operations.

External resources
Online paper:

Dansk version:ønland
Engelsk version:

-Home rule

-Wehater forcast




Sources of this page includes Wikipedias norweigan, danish and english sites. Foto credits: Paul Cziko,Uwe Pieper,Uta Wollf,Steve Jurvetson,Michael Haferkamp (wikipedia commons, gpl/cc)



Comment from STEFANO
Posted 13.06.2008 , 07:32

Hello there .. anychance you could help me on finding out more about airfield, airstrip, airport in greenland ?
thank you

Comment from enlivevioto
Posted 20.03.2009 , 08:49

Was ist das?

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