Ice returns as
Greenland temps plummet
Residents insist Greenland's freezing temperatures don't mean global warming has been called off
While the rest of Europe is debating the prospects of global warming during an unseasonably mild winter, a brutal cold snap is raging across the semi-autonomous nation of Greenland.
On Disko Bay in western Greenland, where a number of prominent world leaders have visited in recent years to get a first-hand impression of climate change, temperatures have dropped so drastically that the water has frozen over for the first time in a decade.
'The ice is up to 50cm thick,' said Henrik Matthiesen, an employee at Denmark's Meteorological Institute who has also sailed the Greenlandic coastline for the Royal Arctic Line. 'We've had loads of northerly winds since Christmas which has made the area miserably cold.'
Matthiesen suggested the cold weather marked a return to the frigid temperatures common a decade ago.
Temperatures plunged to -25°C earlier this month, clogging the bay with ice and making shipping impossible for small crafts, according to Anthon Frederiksen, the mayor of the town of Ilulissat, where Disko Bay is located.
'On the other hand, it's an advantage for fishermen who rely on dogsleds for transportation,' Frederiksen said.
The mayor cautioned against thinking that the freezing temperature indicated that global warming claims were overblown. He noted that a nearby glacier had retracted more in the past two decades than in recorded history.
'We Greenlanders have acclimated to changing conditions over the past 1100 years,' said Frederiksen. 'Temperatures change at regular intervals.'
Although Greenland's capital,
Nuuk, and much of the island saw temperatures drop below -25° C yesterday,
milder temperatures appeared to be on the way in the near future.