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Greenland Island is located in northeastern North America, between the Arctic Ocean and the Atlantic Ocean. Covering an area of 2,176,000 km2, it is the largest island in the world, twice larger than “New Guinea” which is the second largest island worldwide. Its ice-free area covers 342,000 km2, eight times of Denmark. 85% of the island is covered by tremendously thick ice, with an average ice thickness of 1,500 m. The total ice volume is 260 million m3, second only to the modern great glaciers of Antarctica. There are a few towering peaks on the ice field, with Gunnbjorn Mountain (altitude of 3,700 m) as the highest peak within the whole territory. It is extremely cold throughout the year, with an annual average temperature in Celsius below zero. On January 1st, 1998, its total population was 56,076, among which 90% are Christian Eskimos. The official language is Greenlandic. There are lead, chromium, cryolite, coal and other minerals. The famous animals here include musk ox, reindeer, polar bears, whales, seals, and walrus, etc. There are also many seabirds and fishes. Its economy here mainly depends on fishing, hunting and mining. Fish and shrimps, leather goods, whale oil and walrus tooth are its major export products. The major means of transportation include ship, helicopters and sledge. There are several flights every week between Copenhagen and Sondre Stromfjord. Its spectacular and unique natural landscape attracts a growing number of tourists from around the world.

Nuuk (formerly Godthaab) is the capital of Greenland, with a population of 11,000. It had its own TV station since 1982. Greenland is the strategic important place in the Arctic region. The influence imposed by Denmark upon this place originated from 1921, while one constitutional amendment made in 1953 made Greenland part of Denmark. Internal autonomy has been implemented since 1979.

When did indigenous population of Greenland come here exactly? Why did they select such a desolated place for residence? All of these questions are still unknown. When the colonists of Iceland came here in 982AD, they found it uninhabited. In the very southern tip of the island, Icelanders established three bases and persisted in the next few centuries.


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