THE SIZE OF THE ICE SHEET
Greenland’s ice sheet creates enormous glaciers, which under the influence of the force of gravity are forced out towards the coasts.
Here the ice breaks off and forms the icebergs that are one of Greenland’s major natural attractions.
The ice’s total area of 1.8 million km² (695,000 square miles) corresponds to 14 times the size of England. The ice-free area amounts to 350,000 km² (135,000 square miles) – equivalent to the area of Germany.
The ice sheet has covered large parts of Greenland for the last 2-3 million years, but active glaciers and constant melting have meant that the ice has been recycled many times.
The aging ice sheet is only a few metres thick at the ice fringe, but more than 3,200 metres (10,500 feet) thick at its highest point.
The ice contains 10 per cent of the world’s reserves of fresh water as well as atmospheric particles which scientists can use to gain an insight into the climate of both Greenland and the Earth going back some 250,000 years. “