One would think that with a name like Warming Island you’d be talking about somewhere in the South Pacific. Somewhere where you could dig your toes into the warm sand as gentle breezes washed over you and the only sound you’d hear is the lapping of small waves as they come up along the shore. Somewhere where concoctions made of rum seemed to abound and were brought to you by either handsome young cabana boys or native girls bedecked in grass skirts and little else. A place where nature itself seemed to have stopped its inexorable march and decided it had finally achieved a degree of perfection.
One would be wrong….
Warming Island is located somewhere off the east coast of Greenland. It’s not far from a place the locals have dubbed as Suicide Cliff. Legend has it that when the women Eskimos of their tribe felt that they could no longer contribute to the good of the many and become a burden on the other tribe members they would hurl themselves off the cliff. Talk about sacrificing yourself in the name of the greater good …
That’s not what makes Warming Island special though. What makes it special is that it wasn’t “discovered” until 2005.
Maybe “discovered” is a poor choice of words. Given the circumstances, maybe “uncovered” is more fitting, See, for as long as people have wandered around Greenland and explorers have sailed along its coast, the location of Warming Island was a thought to be part of the continuous land mass that constitutes Greenland. But, as most of the scientific world will attest, there’s been this phenomenon known as global warming that is starting to wreak havoc with the planet. Greenland is no exception.
As the ice sheets started to melt it soon became apparent that the piece of land once thought to be connected at its base to Greenland was only because a glacier had made it appear so. Once the glacier melted in 2005, scientists could clearly see that the piece of land was not actually attached to Greenland but itself a free standing object and separated from the mainland by a body of water. As the glacier continues to recede and the ice sheets continue to melt, nobody knows how many more of these “Warming Islands” might be discovered.
They say that a picture is worth a thousand words so for all you doubters out there who still champion the idea that global warming is some kind of insane liberal myth, this one’s for you.