Liquefied natural gas
Liquefied natural gas is natural gas, cooled down to liquid form for ease and safety of non-pressurized storage or transport. It takes up about 1/600th the volume of natural gas in the gaseous state, it is odorless, non-toxic and non-corrosive. Hazards include flammability after vaporization into a gaseous state and asphyxia; the liquefaction process involves removal of certain components, such as dust, acid gases, helium and heavy hydrocarbons, which could cause difficulty downstream. The natural gas is condensed into a liquid at close to atmospheric pressure by cooling it to −162 °C. Natural gas is converted to LNG for transport over the seas where laying pipelines is not feasible technically and economically. LNG achieves a higher reduction in volume than compressed natural gas so that the energy density of LNG is 2.4 times greater than that of CNG or 60 percent that of diesel fuel. This makes LNG cost efficient in marine transport over long distances. However, CNG carrier ships can be used economically up to medium distances in marine transport.
Specially designed cryogenic sea vessels or cryogenic road tankers are used for LNG transport. LNG is principally used for transporting natural gas to markets, where it is regasified and distributed as pipeline natural gas, it can be used in natural gas vehicles, although it is more common to design vehicles to use CNG. LNG's high cost of production and the need to store it in expensive cryogenic tanks have hindered widespread commercial use. Despite these drawbacks, on energy basis LNG production is expected to hit 10% of the global crude production by 2020; the heating value depends on the source of gas, used and the process, used to liquefy the gas. The range of heating value can span +/- 10 to 15 percent. A typical value of the higher heating value of LNG is 50 MJ/kg or 21,500 BTU/lb. A typical value of the lower heating value of LNG is 19,350 BTU/lb. For the purpose of comparison of different fuels the heating value may be expressed in terms of energy per volume, known as the energy density expressed in MJ/litre.
The density of LNG is 0.41 kg/litre to 0.5 kg/litre, depending on temperature and composition, compared to water at 1.0 kg/litre. Using the median value of 0.45 kg/litre, the typical energy density values are 22.5 MJ/litre or 20.3 MJ/litre. The energy density of LNG is 2.4 times greater than that of CNG which makes it economical to transport natural gas by ship in the form of LNG. The energy density of LNG is comparable to propane and ethanol but is only 60 percent that of diesel and 70 percent that of gasoline. Experiments on the properties of gases started early in the seventeenth century. By the middle of the seventeenth century Robert Boyle had derived the inverse relationship between the pressure and the volume of gases. About the same time, Guillaume Amontons started looking into temperature effects on gas. Various gas experiments continued for the next 200 years. During that time there were efforts to liquefy gases. Many new facts on the nature of gases had been discovered. For example, early in the nineteenth century Cagniard de la Tour had shown there was a temperature above which a gas could not be liquefied.
There was a major push in the mid to late nineteenth century to liquefy all gases. A number of scientists including Michael Faraday, James Joule, William Thomson, did experiments in this area. In 1886 Karol Olszewski liquefied the primary constituent of natural gas. By 1900 all gases had been liquefied except helium, liquefied in 1908; the first large scale liquefaction of natural gas in the U. S. was in 1918 when the U. S. government liquefied natural gas as a way to extract helium, a small component of some natural gas. This helium was intended for use in British dirigibles for World War I; the liquid natural gas was not stored, but regasified and put into the gas mains. The key patents having to do with natural gas liquefaction were in the mid-1930s. In 1915 Godfrey Cabot patented a method for storing liquid gases at low temperatures, it consisted of a Thermos bottle type design. In 1937 Lee Twomey received patents for a process for large scale liquefaction of natural gas; the intention was to store natural gas as a liquid so it could be used for shaving peak energy loads during cold snaps.
Because of large volumes it is not practical to store natural gas, as a gas, near atmospheric pressure. However, if it can be liquefied it can be stored in a volume 600 times smaller; this is a practical way to store it but the gas must be kept at −260 °F. There are two processes for liquefying natural gas in large quantities; the first is the cascade process, in which the natural gas is cooled by another gas which in turn has been cooled by still another gas, hence named the "cascade" process. There are two cascade cycles prior to the liquid natural gas cycle; the other method is the Linde process, with a variation of the Linde process, called the Claude process, being sometimes used. In this process, the gas is cooled regeneratively by continually passing it through an orifice until it is cooled to temperatures at which it liquefies; the cooling of gas by expanding it through an orifice was developed by James Joule and William Thomson and is known as th
The Inside Passage is a coastal route for ships and boats along a network of passages which weave through the islands on the Pacific NW coast of North America. The route extends from southeastern Alaska, in the United States, through western British Columbia, in Canada, to northwestern Washington state, in the United States. Ships using the route can avoid some of the bad weather in the open ocean and may visit some of the many isolated communities along the route; the Inside Passage is travelled by cruise ships, tugs with tows, fishing craft and ships of the Alaska Marine Highway, BC Ferries, Washington State Ferries systems. The term "Inside Passage" is often used to refer to the ocean and islands around the passage itself, it is accepted that the southernmost point of the Inside Passage is Olympia, the southernmost point of the Puget Sound. Moving north, the passage continues into the waters of the greater Salish Sea, it passes through the Strait of Georgia and Johnstone Strait, between northeastern Vancouver Island and the coast of mainland British Columbia.
From there it continues further northwest into the Alaska Panhandle. During the Klondike Gold Rush the passage was one of the sea routes from Seattle and California, carrying American prospectors northward. Today 36,000 recreational cruising boats utilize portions of the Inside Passage route. British Columbia's portion of the route has up to 25,000 miles of coastline, it includes the narrow, protected Strait of Georgia between Vancouver Island and the B. C. mainland, the Johnstone Strait and Discovery Passage between Vancouver Island and the mainland, as well as a short stretch along the wider and more exposed Hecate Strait near the Haida Gwaii. From Fitz Hugh Sound northwards, the route is sheltered from Pacific winds and waves by the various large islands in the area such as Princess Royal Island and Pitt Island; this section includes a series of channels and straits, from south to north: Fisher Channel, Lama Passage, Seaforth Channel, Milbanke Sound, Finlayson Channel, Sarah Passage, Tolmie Channel, Princess Royal Channel, McKay Reach, Wright Sound, Grenville Channel, Arthur Passage, Chatham Sound.
The Alaskan portion of the Inside Passage extends 500 miles from north to south and 100 miles from east to west. The area encompasses 15,000 miles of shoreline and thousands of coves and bays. While the Alexander Archipelago in Alaska provides some protection from the Pacific Ocean weather, much of the area experiences strong semi-diurnal tides which can create extreme 30-foot differences between high and low tide, so careful piloting is necessary in many places to avoid grounding; the Inside Passage is a popular tourism destination. The coastal mountain ranges and islands offer wildlife viewing and opportunities for boating, kayaking and hiking. Wildlife viewing in the region ranges from birding to bear viewing. Designated bear viewing is available at Anan Creek near Wrangell and at Pack Creek Bear Sanctuary on Admiralty Island near Juneau; the most popular way to explore the Inside Passage during summer is by cruise ship. Over 2 million people take cruises each year in this region, impacting the local economy significantly.
Because there are no restrictions on ship size, all of the large main line cruise ships offer Inside Passage itineraries. Some of the major players include Norwegian, Princess, Celebrity Cunard etc. Most of these cruises offer round-trips from either Seattle. Although a smaller industry, there are a handful of expedition cruises that explore the Inside Passage; these ships tend to focus more on wildlife watching. National Geographic operate several expedition boats here. British author Jonathan Raban described his journey by boat through the Inside Passage from Seattle to Juneau in his 1999 travelogue Passage to Juneau: A Sea and Its Meanings. British Columbia Coast Alaska Panhandle List of islands of British Columbia BC Ferries Alaska Marine Highway Washington State Ferries MV Queen of the North Travel information on Alaska's Inside Passage Inside Passage Photo Gallery Miller, Robert H.. Kayaking the Inside Passage: A Paddler's Guide from Olympia, Washington to Muir Glacier, Alaska. Countryman Press.
Prince Rupert, British Columbia
Prince Rupert is a port city in the province of British Columbia, Canada. Located on Kaien Island, Prince Rupert is the land and water transportation hub of British Columbia's North Coast, has a population of 12,220 people. Prince Rupert was incorporated on March 10, 1910, it was named for Prince Rupert of the Rhine, the first Governor of the Hudson's Bay Company, as the result of an open competition held by the Grand Trunk Railway, the prize for, $250. Prior to the opening of the Grand Trunk Pacific Railway, which developed a terminus at Prince Rupert, the business centre on the North Coast was Port Essington on the Skeena River. After the founding of Prince Rupert at the western terminus of the GTP, Port Essington was bypassed by many businesses and declined to being a fishing community. Charles Melville Hays, president of the Grand Trunk Railway, had many grand ideas for Prince Rupert, including berthing facilities for large passenger ships and the development of a major tourism industry.
These plans fell through when Hays died in the sinking of the RMS Titanic in April 1912. Mount Hays, the larger of two mountains on Kaien Island, is named in his honour, as is a local high school, Charles Hays Secondary School. Local politicians used the promise of a highway connected to the mainland as an incentive, the city grew over the next several decades. American troops completed the road between Prince Rupert and Terrace during World War II to facilitate the movement of thousands of allied troops to the Aleutian Islands and the Pacific. Several forts were built to protect the city at Fredrick Point. After World War II, the fishing industry for salmon and halibut, forestry became the city's major industries. Prince Rupert was considered the Halibut Capital of the World until the early 1980s. A long-standing dispute over fishing rights in the Dixon Entrance to the Hecate Strait between American and Canadian fisherman led to the formation of the 54-40 or Fight Society; the United States Coast Guard maintains a base in Alaska.
In 1946, the Government of Canada, through an Order in Council, granted the Department of National Defence the power to administer and maintain facilities to collect data in support of communications research. The Royal Canadian Navy was allotted forty positions. In either 1948 or 1949, Prince Rupert ceased operations, the positions were relocated to RCAF Whitehorse, Yukon; the 1949 Queen Charlotte earthquake, with a surface wave magnitude of 8.1 and a maximum Mercalli intensity of VIII, broke windows and swayed buildings on August 22. In Summer 1958, Prince Rupert endured a riot over racial discrimination. Ongoing discontent with heavy-handed police practices towards Aboriginals escalated to rioting during a Port Days celebration following the arrest of an Aboriginal couple; as many as 1,000 people began skirmishing with police. The Riot Act was read for only the second time since Confederation. Over the years, hundreds of students were said to have paid their way through school by working in the lucrative fishing industry.
Construction of a pulp mill began in 1947 and it was operating by 1951. The construction of coal and grain shipping terminals followed. From the 1960s into the 1980s, the city constructed many improvements, including a civic centre, swimming pool, public library, golf course and performing arts centre; these developments that marked the town's changes from a mill town into a small city. In the 1990s, both the fishing and forestry industries suffered a significant downturn in economic activity. In July 1997, Canadian fishermen blockaded the Alaska Marine Highway ferry M/V Malaspina, keeping it in the port as a protest in the salmon fishing rights dispute between Alaska and British Columbia; the forest industry declined when a softwood lumber dispute arose between Canada and the USA. After the pulp mill closed down, many people were unemployed, much modern machinery was left unused. After reaching a peak of about 18,000 in the early 1990s, Prince Rupert's population began to decline, as people left in search of work.
The years from 1996 to 2004 were difficult for Prince Rupert, with closure of the pulp mill, the burning down of a fish plant and a significant population decline. 2005 may be viewed as a critical turning point: the announcement of the construction of a container port in April 2005, combined with new ownership of the pulp mill, the opening in 2004 of a new cruise ship dock, the resurgence of coal and grain shipping, the prospects of increased heavy industry and tourism may foretell a bright future for the area. Prince Rupert was ranked 193rd of the 200 Canadian cities in MoneySense Magazine's "Best Places 2013", the lowest rank of any city in British Columbia. Prince Rupert is situated on Kaien Island, just north of the mouth of Skeena River, linked by a short bridge to the mainland; the city is located along the island's northwestern shore. At the western terminus of Trans-Canada Highway 16, Prince Rupert is 16 km west of Port Edward, 144 km west of Terrace, 715 km west of Prince George. Prince Rupert has an oceanic climate and is located in a temperate rainforest.
Prince Rupert is known as “The City of Rainbows”, as it is Canada's wettest city, with 2,590 millimetres of annual precipitation on average, of which 2,470 millimetres is rain.
Kitimat is a district municipality in the North Coast region of British Columbia, Canada. It is a member municipality of the Regional District of Kitimat-Stikine regional government; the Kitimat Valley is part of the most populous urban district in northwest British Columbia, which includes Terrace to the north along the Skeena River Valley. The city was built by the Aluminum Company of Canada during the 1950s. Kitimat's municipal area is 242.63 km2. It is located on tidewater in one of the few flat valleys on the coast of British Columbia; the 2011 census recorded 8,335 citizens. The District of Kitimat Development Services situates the port of Kitimat as an integral part of the Northwest Corridor connecting North America to the Pacific Ocean and the Pacific Rim. "Kitimat" in the Tsimshian language refers to the Haisla First Nation as the "People of the Snow". Before 1950 the Kitimat township was a small fishing village at the head of the Kitimat Arm of the Douglas Channel, a deepwater fjord; the municipal town of Kitimat came into existence in the 1950s after the Provincial Government of British Columbia invited Alcan to develop hydroelectric facilities to support one of the most power-intensive of all industries – the aluminum smelting industry.
The company built a dam, 16 km tunnel, powerhouse, 82 km transmission line, a deep sea terminal and smelter. The company designed, laid out and assisted with the initial construction of the city. At the time, the combined development was considered "the most expensive project attempted by private industry."Alcan employed the services of city planner Clarence Stein in order to ensure the community design facilitated an environment that would attract and retain workers, although Alcan intended it to not be a company town. Today, Kitimat benefits from the quality of planning resulting from the Garden City design concept. Stein's design kept industry well separated from the community with large areas for expansion, he created looped streets surrounding an urban city centre mall and linked by over 45 km of walkways connecting to all areas of the community. The substantial greenspace areas and future expansion concepts designed by Stein have been upheld to this day by the city planners, thereby resulting in a low-density settlement pattern interspersed with forested patches.
The Alcan-based city origin and land provenance remain documented in the form of restrictive covenants registered on title. Aluminum producer Rio Tinto is the main employer in the municipality. Local government, small manufacturing and service/retail are secondary contributors. Secondary core activities include engineering, import of petrochemical products, metal fabrication. $5 billion in manufacturing investment is anticipated in the 2010–2015 period with a further $5 plus billion in the investigative stage over the next decade. Anticipated investment includes an $2 billion modernization to the Rio Tinto Alcan facilities and $3 billion in the Kitimat liquefied natural gas export development on Haisla Industrial Land at Bish Creek; the export facility would see natural gas piped in from the Western Canadian Sedimentary Basin and shipped to Asian markets. The LNG Canada project, a joint venture between Shell and affiliates of Mitsubishi Corp. Korea Gas Corp. and PetroChina Investment Ltd. would, if permitted, begin construction in 2015 of a gas pipeline from northeastern BC and a LNG export terminal with an expected lifespan of 30 years.
The terminal, located on the Douglas Channel near the aluminum refinery, would be able to accommodate two LNG vessels at a time. Annual volume would be 24 million tonnes. In July 2014 the Financial Post reported that Apache Corp. will "completely exit" the Kitimat LNG mega-project planned for B. C.'s West Coast. The U. S. hedge fund Jana Partners LLC has pressured Houston-based Apache to sell its 50% stake in the BC shale gas plays. Pending energy projects that have identified Kitimat as a strategic gateway include Pacific Northern Gas's Pacific Trail Pipeline and the Enbridge Northern Gateway Pipelines. Additional investigations into clean energy developments include a Kitimat port development project featuring break-bulk port facilities and consideration of the best uses for the former Eurocan Wharf. In addition, the decommissioning of the former Eurocan pulp and paper facilities or a slimmed down operation are still under consideration. There is renewed interest in mineral development potential in the Kitimat area.
The neighbouring community of Terrace is in advanced stages of approval for a number of clean energy projects along with the associated infrastructure for linking those projects to the provincial electrical grid. Air services for the community are provided through Northwest Regional Airport, with connections to Prince George and Vancouver. In the 1920s, the provincial government of British Columbia extensively evaluated the province's hydroelectric generating potential. In the late 1940s, the Canadian Government sought to tap the untapped resources of northwest British Columbia. All this led to the identification of the Eutsuk/Ootsa/Nechako River drainage basin as a potential site for a sizable reservoir; the potential of this vast system of rivers and lakes prompted British Columbia to invite Alcan to conduct a detailed investigation of the area. Alcan was searching for a site for a large aluminum smelter, an activity requiring vast amounts of electricity. Alcan concluded that the area was more than adequate to generate the required electricity, decided to build a smel
Scoresby Sund is a large fjord system of the Greenland Sea on the eastern coast of Greenland. It has a tree-like structure, with a main body 110 km long that branches into a system of fjords covering an area of about 38,000 km2; the longest of the fjords extends 340–350 km inland from the coastline. The depth is 400 -- 600 m in the main basin, it is one of the longest fjord systems in the world. On the northern side of the mouth of the Scoresby Sund stands Ittoqqortoormiit, the only permanent settlement in the region, with a population of 469; the name of the sound honours English explorer William Scoresby, who in 1822 mapped the fjord area in detail. The land surrounding the fjord is mountainous, with steep rising edges; the mouth Uunarteq. Its southern part is a steep, 1000–2000 m tall wall of basalt, the northern side is lower and more rounded; the mouth extends for about 110 km to the west turns north and forms a basin called Hall Bredning. The Hall Bredning basin splits into several branches including the Nordvestfjord, Ofjord —which splits into the Rype Fjord and Hare Fjord, Rode Fjord, Gase Fjord and Fonfjord.
Between the Ofjord and Fonfjord lies the largest island of the system, Milne Land. Fonfjord Rode Fjord Vestfjord Gaasefjord Hurry Inlet Ofjord Hare Fjord Rype Fjord Snesund Nordvest fjord Flyver Fjord Among the islands in the Scoresby Sund the largest is by far Milne Land and the other islands in the sound are near it. Milne Land is located to the west of the basin in a central position. Other islands are Storo and Sorte Island off the northwestern shore of Milne Land, Rode Island further south in Rode Fjord, Danmark Island off Milne Land's southern coast, the Bjorne Islands off the northeastern headland of Milne Land; the climate is Arctic, with severe storms. The temperatures of January–March vary between –22.5 °C and –8.4 °C with the average between –15 °C and –18 °C over the period 1971–1981. The mean summer temperatures are below 5 °C. Precipitation is low, at about 30 mm per month. Tides are semidiurnal, with the amplitude of 1.3 meters. The fauna of the region is unusually rich for Greenland.
This is because of several factors, such as availability of open water in the mouth, with polynyas not freezing in winter, protection from the winds by the high relief, fertile land. The land animals include muskox, Arctic fox, mountain hare and lemming. Reindeer and Arctic wolf disappeared around the early 20th century. Birds are represented by barnacle goose, pink-footed goose, snow goose, whooper swan, king eider, common eider, long-tailed duck, Brunnich's guillemot, black guillemot, little auk, fulmar, herring gull, glaucous gull, great black-backed gull, Arctic tern, red-throated diver, great northern diver, red-breasted merganser, raven, snowy owl, Greenlandic gyrfalcon, etc. Most of them are migrating species and form large colonies which may contain up to millions of individuals. Fishes of the area include Arctic char, Greenland halibut, polar cod, wolf fish, sea scorpion and Greenland shark. Aquatic mammals are dominated by seals. Larger species include Atlantic walrus and sometimes beluga whale.
Atlantic walrus feeds on mussels and ringed seals that urges ringed seals to disappear from the area when walruses stay there for prolonged periods. Narwhals consume polar cod, Greenland halibut and pelegaec crustaceans. List of fjords of Greenland Scoresby Land Environment in the Scoresby Sund Fjord. Museum Tusculanum Press. ISBN 87-635-1208-4. Media related to Scoresby Sund at Wikimedia Commons Detailed map of the Scoresby Sund
Canada is a country in the northern part of North America. Its ten provinces and three territories extend from the Atlantic to the Pacific and northward into the Arctic Ocean, covering 9.98 million square kilometres, making it the world's second-largest country by total area. Canada's southern border with the United States is the world's longest bi-national land border, its capital is Ottawa, its three largest metropolitan areas are Toronto and Vancouver. As a whole, Canada is sparsely populated, the majority of its land area being dominated by forest and tundra, its population is urbanized, with over 80 percent of its inhabitants concentrated in large and medium-sized cities, many near the southern border. Canada's climate varies across its vast area, ranging from arctic weather in the north, to hot summers in the southern regions, with four distinct seasons. Various indigenous peoples have inhabited what is now Canada for thousands of years prior to European colonization. Beginning in the 16th century and French expeditions explored, settled, along the Atlantic coast.
As a consequence of various armed conflicts, France ceded nearly all of its colonies in North America in 1763. In 1867, with the union of three British North American colonies through Confederation, Canada was formed as a federal dominion of four provinces; this began an accretion of provinces and territories and a process of increasing autonomy from the United Kingdom. This widening autonomy was highlighted by the Statute of Westminster of 1931 and culminated in the Canada Act of 1982, which severed the vestiges of legal dependence on the British parliament. Canada is a parliamentary democracy and a constitutional monarchy in the Westminster tradition, with Elizabeth II as its queen and a prime minister who serves as the chair of the federal cabinet and head of government; the country is a realm within the Commonwealth of Nations, a member of the Francophonie and bilingual at the federal level. It ranks among the highest in international measurements of government transparency, civil liberties, quality of life, economic freedom, education.
It is one of the world's most ethnically diverse and multicultural nations, the product of large-scale immigration from many other countries. Canada's long and complex relationship with the United States has had a significant impact on its economy and culture. A developed country, Canada has the sixteenth-highest nominal per capita income globally as well as the twelfth-highest ranking in the Human Development Index, its advanced economy is the tenth-largest in the world, relying chiefly upon its abundant natural resources and well-developed international trade networks. Canada is part of several major international and intergovernmental institutions or groupings including the United Nations, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, the G7, the Group of Ten, the G20, the North American Free Trade Agreement and the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum. While a variety of theories have been postulated for the etymological origins of Canada, the name is now accepted as coming from the St. Lawrence Iroquoian word kanata, meaning "village" or "settlement".
In 1535, indigenous inhabitants of the present-day Quebec City region used the word to direct French explorer Jacques Cartier to the village of Stadacona. Cartier used the word Canada to refer not only to that particular village but to the entire area subject to Donnacona. From the 16th to the early 18th century "Canada" referred to the part of New France that lay along the Saint Lawrence River. In 1791, the area became two British colonies called Upper Canada and Lower Canada collectively named the Canadas. Upon Confederation in 1867, Canada was adopted as the legal name for the new country at the London Conference, the word Dominion was conferred as the country's title. By the 1950s, the term Dominion of Canada was no longer used by the United Kingdom, which considered Canada a "Realm of the Commonwealth"; the government of Louis St. Laurent ended the practice of using'Dominion' in the Statutes of Canada in 1951. In 1982, the passage of the Canada Act, bringing the Constitution of Canada under Canadian control, referred only to Canada, that year the name of the national holiday was changed from Dominion Day to Canada Day.
The term Dominion was used to distinguish the federal government from the provinces, though after the Second World War the term federal had replaced dominion. Indigenous peoples in present-day Canada include the First Nations, Métis, the last being a mixed-blood people who originated in the mid-17th century when First Nations and Inuit people married European settlers; the term "Aboriginal" as a collective noun is a specific term of art used in some legal documents, including the Constitution Act 1982. The first inhabitants of North America are hypothesized to have migrated from Siberia by way of the Bering land bridge and arrived at least 14,000 years ago; the Paleo-Indian archeological sites at Old Crow Flats and Bluefish Caves are two of the oldest sites of human habitation in Canada. The characteristics of Canadian indigenous societies included permanent settlements, complex societal hierarchies, trading networks; some of these cultures had collapsed by the time European explorers arrived in the late 15th and early 16th centuries and have only been discovered through archeological investigations.
The indigenous population at the time of the first European settlements is estimated to have been between 200,000
Greenland is an autonomous constituent country of the Kingdom of Denmark between the Arctic and Atlantic oceans, east of the Canadian Arctic Archipelago. Though physiographically a part of the continent of North America, Greenland has been politically and culturally associated with Europe for more than a millennium; the majority of its residents are Inuit, whose ancestors began migrating from the Canadian mainland in the 13th century settling across the island. Greenland is the world's largest island. Three-quarters of Greenland is covered by the only permanent ice sheet outside Antarctica. With a population of about 56,480, it is the least densely populated territory in the world. About a third of the population live in the capital and largest city; the Arctic Umiaq Line ferry acts as a lifeline for western Greenland, connecting the various cities and settlements. Greenland has been inhabited at intervals over at least the last 4,500 years by Arctic peoples whose forebears migrated there from what is now Canada.
Norsemen settled the uninhabited southern part of Greenland beginning in the 10th century, having settled Iceland to escape persecution from the King of Norway and his central government. These Norsemen would set sail from Greenland and Iceland, with Leif Erikson becoming the first known European to reach North America nearly 500 years before Columbus reached the Caribbean islands. Inuit peoples arrived in the 13th century. Though under continuous influence of Norway and Norwegians, Greenland was not formally under the Norwegian crown until 1262; the Norse colonies disappeared in the late 15th century when Norway was hit by the Black Death and entered a severe decline. Soon after their demise, beginning in 1499, the Portuguese explored and claimed the island, naming it Terra do Lavrador. In the early 18th century, Danish explorers reached Greenland again. To strengthen trading and power, Denmark–Norway affirmed sovereignty over the island; because of Norway's weak status, it lost sovereignty over Greenland in 1814 when the union was dissolved.
Greenland became Danish in 1814, was integrated in the Danish state in 1953 under the Constitution of Denmark. In 1973, Greenland joined the European Economic Community with Denmark. However, in a referendum in 1982, a majority of the population voted for Greenland to withdraw from the EEC, effected in 1985. Greenland contains the world's largest and most northerly national park, Northeast Greenland National Park. Established in 1974, expanded to its present size in 1988, it protects 972,001 square kilometres of the interior and northeastern coast of Greenland and is bigger than all but twenty-nine countries in the world. Greenland is divided into five municipalities – Sermersooq, Qeqertalik and Avannaata. Greenland does not have an independent seat at the United Nations. In 1979, Denmark granted home rule to Greenland, in 2008, Greenlanders voted in favor of the Self-Government Act, which transferred more power from the Danish government to the local Greenlandic government. Under the new structure, in effect since 21 June 2009, Greenland can assume responsibility for policing, judicial system, company law and auditing.
It retains control of monetary policy, providing an initial annual subsidy of DKK 3.4 billion, planned to diminish over time. Greenland expects to grow its economy based on increased income from the extraction of natural resources; the capital, held the 2016 Arctic Winter Games. At 70%, Greenland has one of the highest shares of renewable energy in the world coming from hydropower; the early Norse settlers named the island as Greenland. In the Icelandic sagas, the Norwegian-born Icelander Erik the Red was said to be exiled from Iceland for manslaughter. Along with his extended family and his thralls, he set out in ships to explore an icy land known to lie to the northwest. After finding a habitable area and settling there, he named it Grœnland in the hope that the pleasant name would attract settlers; the Saga of Erik the Red states: "In the summer, Erik left to settle in the country he had found, which he called Greenland, as he said people would be attracted there if it had a favorable name."The name of the country in the indigenous Greenlandic language is Kalaallit Nunaat.
The Kalaallit are the indigenous Greenlandic Inuit people. In prehistoric times, Greenland was home to several successive Paleo-Eskimo cultures known today through archaeological finds; the earliest entry of the Paleo-Eskimo into Greenland is thought to have occurred about 2500 BC. From around 2500 BC to 800 BC, southern and western Greenland were inhabited by the Saqqaq culture. Most finds of Saqqaq-period archaeological remains have been around Disko Bay, including the site of Saqqaq, after which the culture is named. From 2400 BC to 1300 BC, the Independence I culture existed in northern Greenland, it was a part of the Arctic small tool tradition. Towns, including Deltaterrassern