Greenland: Why isn’t it called Redland?

After all, the not so green island was–according to the always reliable Icelandic sagas–discovered by the Norwegian-born multiple murderer and real-estate developer, Erik the Red.

The story, or rather, saga, is that instead of calling it Redland or Erikland, the cagey viking supposedly decided on Greenland to attract settlers. That’s obviously a wiser 180px-greenland_big.pngchoice than Glacierland, which is–as the map purloined from Wikipedia demonstrates–much more accurate.

(In the early 1930’s, Norway attempted to annex an area of land on the coast of east Greenland that they named–possibly motivated by a misplaced nationalistic fervor–Erik the Red’s Land. Denmark, which wanted Greenland all to itself, protested and took the matter to an international court which decided against Norway. For some reason, the Norwegians decided against donning those funny horned hats and attacking Denmark, and instead folded.)

In this seminal Waterblogged.info posting (items 6 and 7), we pointed out some pretty interesting water-related facts about everyone’s favorite world’s largest island, including the unfortunate fact that it is rapidly melting.

We’ll let Kit Stolz over at the very fine A Change in the Wind guide you to a sobering NY Times article about the near- and long-term prospects for Greenland as the earth heats up and its glacial interior recedes. Distressing, yes, but still pretty! As Stolz points out, it’s worth a visit just for the photos. There are links to several other Times stories about Greenland and the melting of arctic and anarctic ice.

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