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Greenland: Earth’s Biggest Island

Greenland is the biggest island on Earth and the least-densely populated country, with only around 57,000 residents. Most of the inhabited places are found along the western coast; a thick ice sheet covers the interior of the country. Scientists are growing extremely concerned that global warming is melting the ice too quickly.

 

 

 

Photo galleries:

  • Greenland’s Gorgeous Glaciers
  • Greenland’s Ancient Landscape
  • These Stunning 3D Images Reveal How a Massive Greenland Clacier Has Changed
  • Greenland sits in the North Atlantic Ocean, northeast of Canada. The island covers about 836,000 square miles (2.17 million square kilometers), or about three times the area of Texas. Only 158,000 square miles (410,000 square km) of that surface are ice-free.

    One of Greenland’s most prominent geographic features is its massive ice sheet, which covers more than 80 percent of the country — around 700,000 square miles (1.8 million square km). The Jakobshavn Glacier is a large valley glacier in west Greenland. It moves about 100 feet (30 meters) a day, making it one of the fastest-moving glaciers in the world, according to Smithsonian Ocean Portal. The Jakobshavn drains 6.5 percent of the Greenland ice sheet and produces about 10 percent of all the country’s icebergs (about 4 billion tons of ice entering the sea). It was also the source of the iceberg that sunk the Titanic.

    The remaining ice-free land consists of the island’s coastal regions and is made primarily of highlands. Mountain chains run along the country’s east and west coasts, with the highest point reaching 12,139 feet (3,700 m) at Gunnbjørn Mountain in the southeast.

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