When I mentioned that I was going to Iceland, the question I was asked the most was: How did the countries get their names if Iceland is green and Greenland is mostly ice?

After thinking and researching the question, I decided it was important to first understand the history behind each countries name and then let you do some research and decide why the climates are different!

First, historically, how did Iceland and Greenland get their names, since the names of each country seem in conflict with their landscapes? The second question is: Why do these two countries have such a large differences in ice and snow coverage?

Iceland’s First Inhabitants

Historians believe that Irish monks may have been the first inhabitants of what is now known as Iceland. They called the country ‘Thule’. It’s unclear what happened to the monks, but it’s believed that the either didn’t like the Vikings and left or they were chased off the island by the Vikings.

To learn more about Iceland's first inhabitants go to Iceland’s Saga Museum link for Papar-The First Inhabitants: http://www.sagamuseum.is/overview/papar

The Exodus From Norway

Naddoður, a viking from Norway, was part of a sailing crew heading from Norway to the Faroe Islands during the 9th century. He was one of the earliest vikings to apply a name to the island. Supposedly he saw snow on the mountains of Iceland and named the country ‘Snaeland’ which translates to Snowland.

Viking ship in the Keflavik International Airport, Reykjavik Iceland.  Photo by Lisa Seff. February 2016.
Icelandic Viking Heritage. Viking ship model in the Keflavik International Airport, Reykjavik Iceland. Photo by Lisa Seff. February 2016.

The next viking known to sail to Iceland was Gardar Svavarsson from Sweden. He named the island after himself, calling it ’Gardarsholmi’ which translates to Gardar’s Island. After only a year he sailed back to Sweden. Although he had only been there for a short time, Gardar praised the island once he reached Europe. His remarks influenced Floki Vilgerdarson to travel to the new land known as ‘Gardarsholmi’. Vilgerdarson and his shipmates settled in the Northwestern region of Iceland and all was well until winter came and all of their animals died of the cold and hunger. In the spring Floki saw the fiords filled with ice and decided that the island should be called 'Isafjordur' (Icefjord which later became the name we know now as Iceland). Floki, unhappy with Iceland eventually returned to Norway.

Viking Heritage Display Keflavik International Airport, Reykjavik Iceland.  Photo by Lisa Seff. February 2016.
Viking Heritage Display Keflavik International Airport, Reykjavik Iceland. Photo by Lisa Seff. February 2016.

To learn more about the viking exodus from Norway go to Iceland’s Saga Museum link: http://www.sagamuseum.is/overview/hrafna-floki

The man who is referred to as the first long-time settler if Iceland was a Norwegian Viking, Ingolfur Arnarson. The story is that he and another family member murdered two sons of a powerful Norwegian earl. In 870 A.D. Ingolfur escaped to Iceland with his family to escape prosecution in Norway. Ingolfur named his new home after the steam rising from the natural hot springs and called the town Reykjavik, which translates to Smoky Bay. Reykjavik is now the capitol of Iceland and is well known for its steamy hot baths. To learn more about the viking Ingolfur Arnarson go to Iceland's Saga Museum link: http://www.sagamuseum.is/overview/ingolfur-arnarson

Erik The Red

Erik Thorvaldsson’s family escaped to Iceland after being banished from Norway for his father’s crimes of manslaughter. Thorvaldsson, also known as Erik the Red, seemed to follow in his father’s footsteps and was later banished from Iceland for three years for his own murderous ways. It was during this time of isolation from Iceland that he sailed west to a larger island. Stories say that later on, to help lure additional settlers to join him in the new land, he named the island Greenland. He thought that the name would give people the impression of green valleys and fertile land that would provide for more opportunity than Iceland.

To learn more about Erik the Red go to the link: http://www.greenland.com/en/about-greenland/culture-spirit/history/the-viking-period/erik-the-red/

The story’s and links above should help clarify the actual naming of Greenland and Iceland. However they don't explain why two countries that are so close together have such different climates. Take a look at the photo's below to see the difference between Iceland and Greenland's southern coastlines.

Flight path over southern Greenland.   Photo by Lisa Seff. February 20, 2016.
Flight path over southern Greenland. Photo by Lisa Seff. February 20, 2016.

Southern Greenland from the air.  Photo by Lisa Seff. February 20, 2016.
Southern Greenland Ice and fiords from the air. Photo by Lisa Seff. February 20, 2016.

The black beach Reynisfjara in the town of Vik on the south shore of Iceland
Lisa Seff standing on a grassy hill by the black beach Reynisfjara in the town of Vik on the south shore of Iceland. Photo by Jamie. February 2016.

So why is most of Greenland covered with glacial ice... while most of Iceland is not? With close examination, the diagrams and links below can lead you to the answer!

New York State Education Department Regents Earth Science Reference Tables Page 10 Surface Ocean Currents
New York State Education Department Regents Earth Science Reference Tables Page 10 Surface Ocean Currents. Screen Shot by Lisa Seff. February 2016.

The Ocean Conveyor Belt
The Ocean Conveyor Belt. Used with permission from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. Lippsett, L. (2012, March 23). A Newfound Cog in the Ocean Conveyor-Scientists confirm existence of a previously unknown current. Oceanus Magazine. Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. Retrieved February 27, 2016, from http://www.whoi.edu/oceanus/feature/a-newfound-cog-in-the-ocean-conveyor. Screenshot by Lisa Seff. February 27, 2016.

Diagram of a Newfound Cog in the Ocean Conveyor.  Used with permission from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. Lippsett, L. (2012, March 23). A Newfound Cog in the Ocean Conveyor-Scientists confirm existence of a previously unknown current. Oceanus Magazine. Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. Retrieved February 27, 2016, from http://www.whoi.edu/oceanus/feature/a-newfound-cog-in-the-ocean-conveyor.  Screenshot by Lisa Seff.  February 27, 2016.
Diagram of a Newfound Cog in the Ocean Conveyor. Used with permission from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. Lippsett, L. (2012, March 23). A Newfound Cog in the Ocean Conveyor-Scientists confirm existence of a previously unknown current. Oceanus Magazine. Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. Retrieved February 27, 2016, from http://www.whoi.edu/oceanus/feature/a-newfound-cog-in-the-ocean-conveyor. Screenshot by Lisa Seff. February 27, 2016.

Greenland-Scotland Ridge.
Greenland-Scotland Ridge. Used with permission from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. Lippsett, L. (2012, March 23). A Newfound Cog in the Ocean Conveyor-Scientists confirm existence of a previously unknown current. Oceanus Magazine. Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. Retrieved February 27, 2016, from http://www.whoi.edu/oceanus/feature/a-newfound-cog-in-the-ocean-conveyor. Screenshot by Lisa Seff. February 27, 2016.

North Atlantic Oscillation.
North Atlantic Oscillation. Used with permission from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. Screen shot from: http://www.whoi.edu/page.do?pid=83537&tid=7842&cid=74833 by Lisa Seff. February 27, 2016.

Low pressure over the horses mane! Approaching low pressure system approaches the coast of Hveragerði Iceland from the southwest.  Photo by Lisa Seff.  February 19, 2016.
Storm over the horses mane! An approaching low pressure systems threatening sky off the coast of Hveragerði Iceland. Photo by Lisa Seff. February 19, 2016.

Additional Resource Links

Ocean Conveyor Belt-Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution: http://www.whoi.edu/main/topic/ocean-conveyor

North Atlantic Oscillation-http://climatology.co.uk/north-atlantic-oscillation#.VtyrN4wrJl4

El Niño & Other Oscillations-Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (scroll down the page to find information on the North Atlantic Oscillation): http://www.whoi.edu/main/topic/el-nino-other-oscillations

Questions

1) After examining the evidence in the links above, and using your own background knowledge, why do you think Iceland has a warmer climate than Greenland? Defend your answer with at least two different variables that could be impacting each countries climate.

2) What one system helps to moderate temperatures in both Iceland and New York?

3) Compare and contrast how the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) impacts the climates of Iceland, Greenland and New York. Include details about when the NAO is high (NAO+) and when the NAO is low (NAO-)

Author
Date
Weather Summary
Sunny and cold
Temperature
38 degrees Fahrenheit
Add Comment

Comments

John Saldana (not verified)

1. Iceland is warmer than Greenland because Iceland receives warmth from the Gulf Stream Current, which originates in the Gulf of Mexico which has a warm body of water. Another reason Iceland is warmer than Greenland is that east of Greenland is the Greenland-Scotland Ridge, a 500 meters from the oceans surface, receives warm water. As the warm water reaches the ridge the warm water loses energy to the atmosphere2. The North Equatorial Current helps regulate the temperatures in Iceland and New York
3. NAO is "one of the better understood climate indices" This controls the strength of winds heading east or west "This means it has a large impact on storm tracks"When the pressure between the Azores and Iceland are large, it is called NAO+ When pressure between the Azores and Iceland are small, it is called NAO-

Andy Ngo (not verified)

1. Iceland has a warmer climate than Greenland for many reasons. For example, the Gulf Stream that comes from the coast of the U.S is a warm ocean current that flows towards Iceland which could be why the climate is warmer. Additionally, the North Icelandic Jet is a warm current that surrounds half of Iceland with warm waters but feeds the Deep Western Boundary Current. As for Greenland, it is next to two cold ocean currents, the East and West Greenland Current, and the fact that Greenland is farther in the Arctic Circle than Iceland could make the climate generally cold. 2. The Gulf Stream current helps keep the temperatures in Iceland and New York moderate.
3. NAO+ is when the pressure difference between Iceland and the Azores are big. But for a NAO- the pressure difference is small. Base on the jet stream, Northeastern U.S and eastern Canada have warmer winters in a NAO+. Although the NAO- is different, it gives areas like southern Europe and northern Africa colder winters and more weather activity. So the climates in New York, Iceland, and Greenland can be different based on what NAO occurs from the pressure systems.

Grace (not verified)

1) I think Iceland has a warmer climate than Greenland because, as you can see in the Earth Science Reference Table, it shows that the warmer North Atlantic Current flows into Iceland, while the colder East Greenland Current passes through Greenland. As I know, warmer currents tend to make the climate of a place warmer and cold currents tend to make the climate of a place colder. Another possible reason why Iceland is warmer than Greenland is the Positive North Atlantic Oscillation, where the warmer and wet weather is more towards Iceland and the cold and icy weather is more towards Greenland. In conclusion, this is why Iceland has a warmer climate than Greenland. 2) The Gulf Stream current helps moderate both temperatures in Iceland and New York.
3) The North Atlantic Oscillation impacts the climates of all three countries because it controls the direction of east-west winds and the strength of them. This means that the NAO has a huge impact on storm tracks. NAO+ is different from NAO- because it prompts to increased westerly winds which leads to cooler summers and wet, mild winters. On the other hand NAO- guides strong snowstorms to the eastern part of the U.S. and leads to colder winters and storms in the southern part of Europe and the Northern part of Africa. The NAO from the pressure systems can be different in these three countries.

Aly Dayton (not verified)

1. Iceland has a warmer climate than Greenland for a myriad of reasons. For example, the Gulf Stream flows toward Iceland from the Gulf of Mexico. This warm water current causes Iceland to have a warmer climate because it originates in a tropical area. Furthermore, Greenland’s climate is colder than Icelands because colder water currents flow in its direction, rather than the tropical currents flowing towards Iceland.
2. The Gulf Stream current helps moderate the temperatures in Iceland and in New York.

3. The North Atlantic Oscillation, or NAO, impacts the climates of Iceland, Greenland, and New York. There are two different phases of the North Atlantic Oscillation, positive, which is NAO+ and negative, which is NAO-. NAO+ makes Iceland’s summers cool and winters wet. NAO+ also makes winters warmer in northeastern U.S., while NAO- makes freezing winters and heavier storms in places such as Europe and Africa.

Karyme Hurtado (not verified)

1) Iceland's climate is warmer than Greenland for multiple reasons. For example, the Gulf Stream flows from the Gulf of Mexico to Iceland. Since the Gulf of Mexico is warm and tropical, that warm water flows up to Iceland causing the warmer climate. Furthermore Greenland has a West and East Greenland current. These current are cold water so they make Greenland's climate colder.2) New York and Iceland's temperatures are moderate because of the Gulf Stream current.
3) The North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) controls how strong and where the East-West winds go to. The NAO+ occurs when the difference in pressure between the Azores and Iceland is large. This results in higher westerly winds and cool summers and wet winters in Iceland. It also results in warmer winters in Eastern United States and Canada. On the contrary, NOA- results in very cold winters and severe, strong snowstorms. So the climates in New York, Iceland and Greenland will differ if NOA changes.

Eileen Considine (not verified)

1. I know Iceland has a warmer climate than Greenland. This is because Iceland has warm water from the Gulf of Mexico. The Gulf of Mexico's stream flows in the direction of Iceland. Since the water is from the Gulf of Mexico has a warm tropical climate causes Iceland to have a warmer climate than Greenland. Additionaly, Greenland has a colder climate because it also has currents effecting the temperature. In the, "Surface Ocean Currents" map in the Earth Science Refrence Tables it shows that there are colder ocean currents in the artic circle heading towards Greenland.2. A system that helps moderate temperatures in Iceland and New York is the Gulf of Mexico.
3. NAO+ indicates icreased westerly winds which make Summer's cooler and winter would be a mild temperature and humid. On the other hand, NAO-indicates snowstorms and colder temperatures in some parts of Europe, Africa, and the U.S.. The NAO is the abbreviation for the North Atlantic Oscillation.

Kaylee Mendelman (not verified)

1. Iceland has a warmer climate than Greenland for multiple reasons. One reason why Iceland has a warmer climate is because of the North Icelandic Irminger Current. This water is from the tropics so it contains warm water. This current breaks off from the main current south of the island, later making it’s way west and around Iceland. The warm current would make Iceland’s climate warm. In the winter, the water in the warm current gets colder and more dense in the Iceland Sea Gyre, and starts to flow with another current called the North Icelandic Jet. From there, the cold water pools up at the Greenland-Scotland Ridge. That leads us to the next reason Greenland has a colder climate than Iceland. At the Greenland-Scotland Ridge, the cold water pools up on the side with Greenland, making Greenland’s water cooler than Iceland’s. If warmer, less dense water passed over the ridge, the cold, dense water on the other side would make the warm water cold. As you can see, there are multiple reasons why Iceland has a warmer climate than Greenland.2. One system that helps moderate temperatures in both New York and Iceland is the Gulf Stream Current.
3. NAO impacts the climates of Iceland, Greenland, and New York in multiple ways. When NAO is high (NAO+), it leads to an increase in westernly winds. These bring mild air from the south of Iceland, leading to cool summers and mild, wet winters in Iceland. At the same time, positive NAO leads to warmer winters in northeastern United States, including New York, eastern Canada, and Greenland. With negative NAO, it has the opposite effect. Negative NAO leads to strong snowstorms in eastern United States.

Colin Freedman (not verified)

1. One reason that Iceland is warmer than Greenland is because Iceland gets heat from the Gulf Streams currents, which carries warm water that's from the Gulf of Mexico. Another reason why Iceland's climate is warmer than Greenland's is because of the NAO. When its an NAO+ it means that there will be an increase in westerly winds which brings wet warm summers, and mild winters from the south part of Iceland.2. The Gulf Streams helps keep Iceland and New York temperatures moderate
3. The NAO controls the strength of the winds that head either east or west, Which means NAO has a strong impact when it comes to storm tracks. NAO+ means the pressure between Iceland and Azores are big or large. NAO- is when the pressure between Azores and Iceland is smaller. NAO + brings cooler summers, and mild winters to Iceland, but also brings warmer winters to U.S (New York) and Canada. While NAO - brings strong snowstorms to The Eastern U.S. It also causes cold winters in Europe and North Africa.

Jeremy, 6/7, SPG (not verified)

1. Iceland has a warmer climate than Greenland for several reasons. One reason is because of the Icelandic Irminger Current, which brings tropical and distinctively warmer water to Iceland. Because of the current, Iceland's climate is warmer than it should be. However during the winter, the water becomes much colder around the Iceland Sea Gyre and is then influenced by the North Icelandic Jet. This water travels and gathers at the Greenland-Scotland Ridge. Because Greenland's water is cooler than Iceland's, if the warmer water were to ever pass over the ridge the cold water would make the warm water cold, thus still leaving Greenland with a colder climate. The aforementioned shows two reasons why Iceland's climate is warmer than Greenland's.

Jeremy, 6/7, SPG (not verified)

2. The Gulf Stream assists in the moderation of temperatures in both New York and Iceland.
3. Whether it is NAO+ or NAO-, it all depends on the pressure difference between Iceland and the Azores. NAO+ is when the difference is big while NAO- is when the difference is small. NAO+ also helps make winters warmer in the Northeastern U.S., in contrast to NAO-, which causes colder winters and more powerful storms in areas such as Europe or Africa.

Julia, Period … (not verified)

1. Iceland is warmer than Greenland because of the Gulf Stream, which takes warm water from the Gulf of Mexico into the North Atlantic, there it meets cold air, then releases the water's warm air into the atmosphere, and warms the region closest to it. Also, Greenland is colder than Iceland because due to the North Atlantic Oscillation, warmer currents are prone to reaching Iceland, while colder currents are prone to reaching Greenland. 2. The Gulf Stream Current helps moderate temperatures in both Iceland and New York.
3. A high NAO, which is when there is a high pressure difference between Iceland and the Azores, gives the U.S. warmer winters because a high NAO blocks the jet stream from flowing cold Arctic air into the Eastern U.S. A low NAO, which is when there is a low pressure difference between Iceland and the Azores, therefore causing high pressure over the Azores, causes the opposite of a positive NAO. Giving the U.S. lower winter temperatures.

Erin (not verified)

1. I think Iceland has a warmer climate than Greenland for a few reasons. The first reason is the ocean currents that flow around the two countries. The West Greenland Current flows around the west side of Greenland, bringing colder waters from the North Atlantic Ocean. Then the East Greenland Current, which flows around the east side of Greenland, brings cold water from the Arctic. These two currents bring cold waters around the perimeter of Greenland, making it a colder place. Then there are the ocean currents that flow around Iceland. The Gulf Stream Current breaks off into the North Atlantic Current, which flows around Iceland. The Gulf Stream Current carries water from the Gulf of Mexico, which is a warm body of water. The North Atlantic Currents waters won't be as warm as the Gulf Stream Currents waters, but will still be warm compared to the currents that flow around Greenland. Another factor in the differing climates, is the size of the land. Iceland is a much smaller land mass than Greenland, which would allow the land mass to warm up much faster than the bigger land mass. Finally, more of Greenland is in the Arctic region than Iceland is.
2. The Gulf Stream helps to modify temperatures in both Iceland and New York.

3. The North Atlantic Oscillation, also known as the NAO, helps modify the climate in Greenland, Iceland and New York. There are two phases of the NAO. NAO+ and NAO-. NAO+ brings warmish air from southern Iceland to the west, which leads to cool summers and warm winters in places like New York. NAO- leads to severe storms in Europe and Africa.

Bailey Grant (not verified)

1. Iceland has a warmer climate than Greenland due to many reasons. One reason is warm water being taken from the tropics up to the North Atlantic, where the Gulf Stream diverges. The North Icelandic Irminger Current bends around the west of iceland, bringing warm water with it. Greenland on the other hand has the East and West Greenland Currents surrounding it, which are both cool currents. In addition, the NAO causes different air masses to pass over Iceland and Greenland, causing them to have different climates 2. I think the Positive mode of the Northern Atlantic Oscillation regulates both New York and Iceland's climates
3. When the NAO is positive, there is a large pressure difference between the Azores and Iceland. A NAO+ causes an increase in westerly winds, which bring mild air from the south of Iceland, leading to mild, wet winters and cool summers. When the NAO index is negative, there is a small pressure difference between the Azores and Iceland. A NAO- causes an opposite effect with very cold winters and an increase in storm activity. As a result, the different modes of the NAO effect Iceland, Greenland, and New York.

Sophie (not verified)

1. I think Iceland has a warmer climate than Greenland due to the Gulf Stream Current. The Gulf Stream Current, a warm current, hits Iceland and effects its air temperature. Greenland gets hit by two cold currents, the West Greenland Current and East Greenland Current, which affects Greenland to have colder air temperatures. Another reason why Iceland is warmer is because of the North Icelandic Jet. Once the tropical water is south of Iceland, it loses heat and sinks in the Sea of Gyre. Before the tropical water is able to move with the North Icelandic Jet it becomes cold water, which means the tropical water won’t be able to hit Greenland. 2. The Gulf Stream Current helps to moderate temperatures in New York and Iceland.
3. The North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) impacts the weather of New York and Iceland. When there is a large pressure difference between Iceland and the Azores (island part of Portugal), there becomes a strong western wind increase, which gives Iceland moderate temperatures. A southwesterly circulation forms which blocks the Jet Stream’s cold arctic air from dipping down into northeastern United States and eastern Canada, giving that region, including New York, warmer winters. During the NAO+, Iceland and New York have mild winters.When there isn’t such a large pressure difference between Iceland and the Azores, the southwesterly circulation doesn’t form, allowing the Jet Stream to dip down into northeastern United States including New York, giving that region colder temperatures. During the NAO-, New York and Iceland have colder winters.

Olivia Brabant (not verified)

Olivia Brabant, Period 6/7, Springs School
1) I think that Iceland has a warmer climate than Greenland because of its Gulf stream. Iceland gets a warmer current flow then Greenland because the flow comes up from the Gulf of Mexico. Another reason why I think Iceland has a warmer climate is because of the positive North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) where the warmer and wetter weather is more towards Iceland and the colder and icier weather is more towards Greenland. These are the two reasons why I Iceland has a warmer climate than Greenland.

2)The North Atlantic current and oceans probably helps moderate the temperatures in New York and Iceland.

3)The North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) impacts the climates in Iceland, Greenland and New York because, it controls the direction and the strength of the east-west winds. The NAO+ takes place when there is a large difference in pressure between Iceland and the Azores. The results of the NAO+ are strong western winds cooler summers and wetter winters. And in parts of the U.S, this results in warmer winters. On the other hand, the results of NAO- were almost the opposite. The NAO- had very cold winters and extreme snowstorms. In conclusion, the climates can differ due to the impacts and changes of the North Atlantic Oscillation.

Darcy McFarland (not verified)

1) After examining the evidence in the links above, and using your own background knowledge, why do you think Iceland has a warmer climate than Greenland? Defend your answer with at least two different variables that could be impacting each country's climate.

Iceland has a warmer climate than Greenland. I think this because Iceland’s latitude is closer to the equator being at 68°N whereas Greenland’s average latitude is 72°N. Being that Greenland’s average latitude is 72°N, this make more than half of the country inside the arctic circle unlike Iceland which has no more that a small island crossing the border into the arctic circle. Another reason why Iceland has a warmer climate than Greenland may be to the fact that Iceland has many live volcanoes that erupt. Volcanoes add to the Co2 levels in the atmosphere creating almost like a blanket around Iceland for a while until the particles clear up. However; although Greenland does have volcanoes, almost none if not none of the volcanoes are active leaving this country blanketed with just the naturalgasses created by other carbon dioxide releasers. I believe these are just a few of the reasons why Greenland has a colder than Iceland.

2) What one system helps to moderate temperatures in both Iceland and New York?

The Ocean Conveyor system helps moderate temperatures in both Iceland and New York. An ocean conveyor belt carries varying degrees of tropical heat and moistures to the north. At high latitudes, the moisture cools and releases heat into the atmosphere. This moderates wintertime climates in the North Atlantic regions which includes New York and Iceland.

3) Compare and contrast how the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) impacts the climates of Iceland, Greenland and New York. Include details about when the NAO is high (NAO+) and when the NAO is low (NAO-)

The North Atlantic Oscillation impacts the climates of Iceland, Greenland and New York. A low pressure hovers over Iceland. A high pressure floats over the small islands called the Azores. If the difference of the two pressures are very high, this creates a NAO+. If the two pressures have a very small difference in pressure, then this is called a NAO-. An NAO can affect the climates of New York, Iceland, and Greenland in a few ways. If the pressure systems are higher than normal an NAO+ can happen creating a climate in the northeast that has increasing westerly winds, mild air from the south and cool summers and mild winters. An NAO- can have the opposite effect causing New York to have extremely cold summers with devastating snowstorms and blizzards.

Logan Gurney (not verified)

1. Iceland has a warmer climate than Greenland in a few ways. One reason is because of the ocean currents. For example, the Gulf Stream Current brings warm water to Iceland from the Gulf of Mexico. This current warms Iceland's climate. On the other hand, Greenland's climate is being cooled by the East Greenland Current that originates in the Arctic, bringing colder water closer to Greenland. This current cools Greenland's climate. Another reason why Iceland has a warmer climate than Greenland is because of the Greenland-Scotland Ridge. This is a tall undersea ridge that extends from east Greenland to Iceland and then on to Scotland. The warm water cools releasing heat into the atmosphere around Iceland, giving it a moderate climate. 2. One system that helps moderate the climates of New York and Iceland is the Gulf Stream current, which brings warm water from the Gulf of Mexico through the Atlantic and to Iceland.
3. The NAO can affect many northern regions. The NAO has two different types. These are NAO + and NAO -. NAO+ can produce warmer wetter winters in northeastern north america. NAO+ can also help develop additional sea ice off of western greenland. Iceland has a strong low pressure system during winter in positive. In NAO-, North America has increased snowfall, while Greenland experiences warmer temperatures during winter time resulting in less sea ice. Iceland has a weaker low pressure system in NAO- during the winter time. These are examples of how NAO+ and NAO- are different.

Ethan Bennett (not verified)

1.I think that Iceland is warmer than Greenland for many reasons. One reason is that the Gulf Stream Brings Up warm water from the tropics towards Iceland. Another reason is that NAO+ causes westerly winds to increase and and to have warmer winters.
2.One system that helps moderate the temperature in Iceland and New York is the Gulf Stream.

3.NAO has two different phases. NAO+ and NAO-. NAO+ is when the pressure difference of Azores and Iceland is large, and NAO- is when the pressure difference of Azores and Iceland is small. NAO+ brings increased westerly winds which bring mild air from the south of Iceland. It also causes warmer winters in eastern United States and Canada. NAO- does the opposite affect and produces cooler summers and more storms.

Nicolas Esquivel (not verified)

1) After examining the evidence in the links above, and using your own background knowledge, why do you think Iceland has a warmer climate than Greenland? Defend your answer with at least two different variables that could be impacting each countries climate.I think that Iceland is warmer than Greenland mainly because of the Ocean Currents around each place. For example the New Icelandinc Jet, sis a current that first starts with cold water but it sends the cod water to the bottom, and it gets warmed up by the tropic areas, and this stream warms up south of Iceland. In the other hand Greenland is surrounded by cold Ocean Currents, like East Greenland C. and Western Greenland C. This currents make Greenland colder than Iceland.
2) What one system helps to moderate temperatures in both Iceland and New York? One system that helps to moderate temperatures in Iceland and New York is the Gulf Stream Current.
3) Compare and contrast how the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) impacts the climates of Iceland, Greenland and New York. Include details about when the NAO is high (NAO+) and when the NAO is low (NAO-)
The NAO has two kinds, A positive which is when the pressure has a big difference between Iceland and the Azores, and a negative which is when the pressure difference is smaller. This mainly controls the Jet Stream which can affect weather in many places in the world. During a NAO+, Northeastern U.S and eastern Canada have warmer winters. In the other hand, NAO- gives southern Europe and northern Africa colder winters and different weather phenomenons . Every NAO has a big impact in weather all around the world but mainly the countries that are in the jet stream path

Nicolas Esquivel (not verified)

1) After examining the evidence in the links above, and using your own background knowledge, why do you think Iceland has a warmer climate than Greenland? Defend your answer with at least two different variables that could be impacting each countries climate.I think that Iceland is warmer than Greenland mainly because of the Ocean Currents around each place. For example the New Icelandinc Jet, sis a current that first starts with cold water but it sends the cod water to the bottom, and it gets warmed up by the tropic areas, and this stream warms up south of Iceland. In the other hand Greenland is surrounded by cold Ocean Currents, like East Greenland C. and Western Greenland C. This currents make Greenland colder than Iceland.
2) What one system helps to moderate temperatures in both Iceland and New York? One system that helps to moderate temperatures in Iceland and New York is the Gulf Stream Current.
3) Compare and contrast how the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) impacts the climates of Iceland, Greenland and New York. Include details about when the NAO is high (NAO+) and when the NAO is low (NAO-)
The NAO has two kinds, A positive which is when the pressure has a big difference between Iceland and the Azores, and a negative which is when the pressure difference is smaller. This mainly controls the Jet Stream which can affect weather in many places in the world. During a NAO+, Northeastern U.S and eastern Canada have warmer winters. In the other hand, NAO- gives southern Europe and northern Africa colder winters and different weather phenomenons . Every NAO has a big impact in weather all around the world but mainly the countries that are in the jet stream path

Nicolas Esquivel (not verified)

1) After examining the evidence in the links above, and using your own background knowledge, why do you think Iceland has a warmer climate than Greenland? Defend your answer with at least two different variables that could be impacting each countries climate.I think that Iceland is warmer than Greenland mainly because of the Ocean Currents around each place. For example the New Icelandinc Jet, sis a current that first starts with cold water but it sends the cod water to the bottom, and it gets warmed up by the tropic areas, and this stream warms up south of Iceland. In the other hand Greenland is surrounded by cold Ocean Currents, like East Greenland C. and Western Greenland C. This currents make Greenland colder than Iceland.
2) What one system helps to moderate temperatures in both Iceland and New York? One system that helps to moderate temperatures in Iceland and New York is the Gulf Stream Current.
3) Compare and contrast how the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) impacts the climates of Iceland, Greenland and New York. Include details about when the NAO is high (NAO+) and when the NAO is low (NAO-)
The NAO has two kinds, A positive which is when the pressure has a big difference between Iceland and the Azores, and a negative which is when the pressure difference is smaller. This mainly controls the Jet Stream which can affect weather in many places in the world. During a NAO+, Northeastern U.S and eastern Canada have warmer winters. In the other hand, NAO- gives southern Europe and northern Africa colder winters and different weather phenomenons . Every NAO has a big impact in weather all around the world but mainly the countries that are in the jet stream path

Nicolas Esquivel (not verified)

1) After examining the evidence in the links above, and using your own background knowledge, why do you think Iceland has a warmer climate than Greenland? Defend your answer with at least two different variables that could be impacting each countries climate.I think that Iceland is warmer than Greenland mainly because of the Ocean Currents around each place. For example the New Icelandinc Jet, sis a current that first starts with cold water but it sends the cod water to the bottom, and it gets warmed up by the tropic areas, and this stream warms up south of Iceland. In the other hand Greenland is surrounded by cold Ocean Currents, like East Greenland C. and Western Greenland C. This currents make Greenland colder than Iceland.
2) What one system helps to moderate temperatures in both Iceland and New York? One system that helps to moderate temperatures in Iceland and New York is the Gulf Stream Current.
3) Compare and contrast how the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) impacts the climates of Iceland, Greenland and New York. Include details about when the NAO is high (NAO+) and when the NAO is low (NAO-)
The NAO has two kinds, A positive which is when the pressure has a big difference between Iceland and the Azores, and a negative which is when the pressure difference is smaller. This mainly controls the Jet Stream which can affect weather in many places in the world. During a NAO+, Northeastern U.S and eastern Canada have warmer winters. In the other hand, NAO- gives southern Europe and northern Africa colder winters and different weather phenomenons . Every NAO has a big impact in weather all around the world but mainly the countries that are in the jet stream path

Steve Okkonen

Hello Grace
Your answers are pretty much on the mark. A good illustration of why Iceland and Greenland have different climates can be found at

http://www.seos-project.eu/modules/oceancurrents/oceancurrents-c03-p01…

As the sea surface temperature map on the left side of the webpage shows, the waters near Iceland are warmer than the waters near Greenland. These warmer waters are associated with the Gulf Stream/North Atlantic Current.

Steve Okkonen
Oceanographer
University of Alaska Fairbanks

Steve Okkonen

Hello Logan
Good answers. As Ms. Seff is having your class think about climate, some excellent earth science videos that you can share with your classmates are at

http://svs.gsfc.nasa.gov/cgi-bin/search.cgi?contentType=hw

Notice that there are many, many pages of videos covering a huge variety of earth and planetary science topics.

Steve Okkonen
Oceanographer
University of Alaska Fairbanks

Steve Okkonen

Hello Nicolas
You've done a good job answering Ms. Seff's questions.

Another good resource for earth science questions you and your classmates might have is

http://www.nnvl.noaa.gov/

Check out the videos and images.

Steve Okkonen
Oceanographer
University of Alaska Fairbanks