A thousand years ago, the Norse explorer Erik the Red was exiled from Iceland after a land dispute turned deadly. He sailed west and encountered a land almost completely covered with ice. He named it Greenland in the hopes the amiable name would attract settlers to join him. It worked, and thousands of opportunists made the dangerous trek to the barren land. A few centuries later, a cooling trend made farming too difficult, and the settlements died off. But the contradictory name endured.
How long ago was Greenland green, and what does it mean for our near future?