Scientists have discovered a new island off the coast of Greenland that they believe is the northernmost point in the world.
“It was not our intention to discover a new island,” polar explorer and head of the Arctic Research Station in Greenland, Morten Rush, said of the discovery. “We just went there to take samples.”
At first, scientists thought they had reached Oodaaq Island, an island discovered by a Danish team in 1978. Only later, after checking the exact location, did they realize that they were on an island 780 meters northwest.
“Everyone was thrilled that we had found what we thought was Udaq Island,” said Swiss entrepreneur Christian Lister, founder of the Leicester Foundation, which funded the expedition. “It’s a bit like the explorers of the past, who thought they landed in a certain place, but actually found a completely different place.”
According to “The Guardian”, the small island that measures about Its diameter is 30 meters and its height is about three meters, consisting of deep-sea mud as well as cumulus – soil and rock left over from the movement of glaciers. The team wants to call it “Karkatak Avanarlek”, which means “the northernmost island”.
According to scientists, although the new island has undergone a shift in the ice sheet, its appearance now is not a direct result of global warming, which led to a decrease in the Greenland ice sheet.
The region north of Greenland has one of the thickest polar ice, said Rene Forsberg, professor and director of geodynamics at Denmark’s National Space Institute, although he added that it is now 2-3 meters thick in summer compared to 4 meters when he first visited. As part of the expedition that discovered Oodaaq in 1978.
Any hope of extending territorial claims to the Arctic depends on whether it is in fact an island or something that can disappear again. The island needs to stay above sea level at high tide. “It meets island standards. This is the northernmost land in the world right now,” Forsberg said, adding, however, a caveat: “These little islands come and go.”
Denmark’s autonomous region of Greenland has made headlines in recent years, particularly in 2019, when former US President Donald Trump said he wanted to buy up the Arctic. The proposal, which the Danish government called “ridiculous,” caused diplomatic confusion, but also signaled a renewed US interest in the region.
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