scientists and explorers of Greenland Announced this Friday (27) that they have discovered the northernmost island in the world. part of land. is close to Oodaaq, until then was believed to be the northernmost point on the planet – or boreal.
“We did not intend to discover a new island,” Danish explorer Morten Rash told Reuters news agency. “We just went there to get samples.”
A 30-meter-wide small island appeared due to movement in the Arctic ice sheet. It has a small peak three meters high and is formed by the accumulation of soil and sediments separated from glaciers.
A map showing the approximate location of Avannarlake, the world’s northernmost island — Photo: G1 Mundo
Initially, scientists thought they had reached Udak – an island that was discovered in 1978. Later, confirming the exact location, they learned that they had visited another island, 780 meters away in the north-west direction.
Christian Leister, one of the people responsible for funding the expedition, celebrated the discovery, saying that they felt “like explorers of the past” who thought they had arrived at a place, but were in fact a place “completely different”. different from”.
Researchers decided to call the island qqrtaq avannarlek, which means “the northernmost island” in the local language. To become part of Greenland, the Danish government still needed to recognize the area, which could be done when the island was visible even at high tide.
Christian Lester, a member of the expedition to the world’s northernmost island – Photo: Julian Charriere / Reuters
Although this was highlighted by the displacement of the ice sheet, scientists said the island’s presence is not a direct result of global warming, which has eroded the Greenland ice sheet.
Last month, an Arctic heat wave, with temperatures 10 degrees Celsius higher than expected for this time of year, triggered an episode of massive melting of the ice sheet covering the region.
Between July 28 and 31, the ice cap melted about 8 billion tons a day, at twice the rate of average warming, according to data from the Polar Portal, a modeling tool run by Danish research institutes.
The world’s northernmost island discovered near Greenland – Photo: Julian Charriere / Reuters
René Forsberg, a geophysics expert at Denmark’s National Space Institute, told Reuters that qqrtaq avannarlek, at this point, may be considered the “north land in the world” point, but it cannot be certain.
“She meets the criteria for an island. It is currently the northernmost land in the world,” said the scientist. “But these little islands come and go.”
They also pointed out that the entire region north of Greenland is covered by a thick layer of polar ice – which can rise as high as 3 meters during the summer. In 1978, when Oodaaq was discovered, the ice sheet reached 4 meters.
The island appeared after changes in the Arctic ice sheet – Photo: Julian Charriere / Reuters
Discovery comes as the Arctic nations – the United States, Russia, Canada, Denmark and Norway – begin fighting for control of the region.
This is because as part of the North Pole melts due to climate change, new shipping routes and fishing areas are beginning to emerge.
For example, several US expeditions have been exploring new territories in recent decades. In 2007, an island similar to qqrtaq avannarlek was discovered by the explorers.
The northernmost island discovered by the Greenland expedition – Photo: Julian Charriere / Reuters