Ellesmere Island is the third-largest island in Canada. It is also the 10th largest island in the world. In total, the island is approximately 75000 square miles. It is slightly smaller than the entire island of Great Britain, even though it doesn't have nearly the population of Great Britain itself. The island is approximately 530 miles long. Technically, even though the island is part of Canada, it is also a part of the Arctic archipelago. Elevation can change significantly on the island depending on where you are located, and Cape Columbia is the island's northernmost point. It is also the limit of the northern reaches of Canada itself.
Even though the island is very large, there are not a lot of people who live there. In 2021, the population of the island was recorded to be 144, and there are a few people who continue to live there to this day. Everyone who lives on the island permanently lives in an area called Grise Fiord. This is an Inuit hamlet, and it is the largest permanent population on the island. It is approximately 720 miles north of the Arctic Circle, and it represents the northernmost civilian settlement in Canada. Finally, the settlement also has an average yearly temperature of just two degrees F, making it one of the coldest places on Earth. There are several military establishments on the island, but they are not continuously inhabited. They are called Alert and Eureka, which have people living there throughout the year, but nobody lives there permanently.
Significant portions of the island are covered with ice and glaciers. For example, the Manson Icefield is approximately 2,400 square miles, one of the largest icefields in the area. There are also very large ice caps on the island, such as Agassiz. Because the island is incredibly cold throughout the entire year, the size of the glaciers does not change appreciably from month to month. Even though there is some significant concern that global warming could contribute to the melting of these icefields and ice shelves, the island remains intact for most of the year.
Even though there are some people who visit the island from time to time, this is not a very popular tourist destination. Because the island is so cold, most people do not have a lot of reasons to visit the area. Furthermore, there are not a lot of plants and animals that live on the island full-time, which means that there are not a lot of major drivers for the tourism industry. Most of the people who visit the island regularly are researchers. They have come to study the Arctic climate, the icefields, and to measure the impact of climate change. As a result, the area does not receive a lot of tourists throughout the year, and this is unlikely to change in the future.