The Greenland Sea

The Greenland Sea has been considered as a marginal sea of the Atlantic Ocean and is bordered by Iceland and the Norwegian Sea to the south, the Greenland to the west, the Svalbard Archipelago to the east, and the Arctic Ocean and the Fram Strait to the north. The Greenland Sea has a total surface area of about 465,300 square miles. For over 200 years, the Greenland Sea has been known as a region where seal hunting for harp seal and the hooded seal are the common activities.

Greenland Sea Facts for Kids

  • The Greenland Sea has a maximum depth that has been pegged at almost 16,000 feet. The average depth of the Greenland Sea is approximately 4,800 feet.
  • The intricate water current system of the Greenland Sea was detailed by Fridtjof Nansen in 1909.
  • For 300 years, whale hunting was a popular activity. However, it ended in 1911 as a result of the whale population’s depletion to a point where it became unprofitable to whale hunt.
  • Since whale hunting ended in 1911, the whales in the Greenland Sea have been protected. However, the whale population is yet to degenerate.
  • The Greenland Sea has dense populations of organisms forming the food chain.
  • The Greenland Sea is a natural habitat for several invertebrate animals, various species of fish, birds, and a wide range of mammals who inhabit the region.
  • The mammals living in the Greenland Sea include whales, dolphins, and seals. Once upon a time, Bowhead Whales were quite abundant in the Greenland Sea. However, they decreased as the overall population of whales decreased. The fish species in the Greenland Sea include redfish, cod, halibut, and herring. Ox, Musk, Deer, and Polar bears all feed along the shorelines of the Greenland Sea.
  • In the late 1990s, some biologists reported that there was a rise in the number of the bowhead whale. In 2015, some scientists also discovered an amazing number of bowhead whales within a small region of the Greenland Sea. These could mean that the region is gaining its whale population back.
  • The very first scientific investigation carried out on the Greenland Sea has been recorded to be between 1876-1878 which was conducted as part of the Norwegian North Atlantic Expedition. Ever since the expedition, several countries have sent numerous scientific expeditions to the Greenland Sea, the most notable of these being Russia, Iceland, and Norway.
  • In 2017, the first-to-be-achieved man-powered crossing of the Greenland Sea was accomplished by Polar Row which was a rowing expedition led by Fiann Paul.
  • The Greenland Sea has several major islands including Jan Mayen, Svalbard Archipelago, Schnuauders Island, et cetera.
  • The Greenland Sea has a narrow window for commercial navigation. This is as a result of winds, currents, and fogs which continually transport icebergs and ice to the south through the Greenland Sea.
  • In the Greenland Sea, there are three types of floating ice and the ice begins in October, ending in August. The three types of floating ice include the Sea Ice, the Arctic Pack, and the Freshwater Icebergs.
  • Many believe that the Greenland Sea is home to vast deposits of oil and natural gas. However, drilling in such a feeble environment could pose danger and may have serious environmental consequences if exploited. Nonetheless, the mid-2020s will see the start of exploratory drills. Several oil companies including Chevron, Shell, and British Petroleum have already gained the rights to drill natural gas from the Greenland Sea. They may start drilling even before the predetermined mid-2020s as efforts are being led toward proper safety measures and investments.