Monday, October 13, 2008

Global warming grips Greenland, leaves lasting mark

From: Toledo Blade


ILULISSAT, GREENLAND — Beyond the howl of sled dogs echoing across this hilly coastal village is the thunderclap of ancient icebergs splitting apart, a deafening rumble you feel in your bones.

There's no mistaking its big, loud, and powerful boom, a sound that can work up to a crescendo like rolling thunder. Or be as sudden as a shotgun blast.

Lifelong Greenland resident Karen Jessen Tannajik said people who live in Ilulissat — an Inuit word for icebergs — notice more about what's been calved by the village's nearby Sermeq Kujalleq
glacier than sights and sounds.

'Right now, they're coming out so quick. There are not so many big ones, but many small ones,' she said with almost a spiritual reverence as she talked about the village's world-famous procession of icebergs.
'When I am tired, I can watch them and feel them and smell them,' she said, pausing for a big breath of air to help make her point. 'It seems like we get our power from them.'

Sermeq Kujalleq is the largest glacier in the northern hemisphere that flows out to sea. The icebergs it calves float along a fjord that was recognized as one of the wonders of the world when it was added to the 2004 World Heritage List by the United Nations, which cited its natural history, geology, and beauty.

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