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In the summer of 2008, the only helicopter in Kangerlussuaq, Greenland, was effectively grounded by a diamond company, leaving scientists and logistics coordinators to frantically rearrange their field plans.

Interview with galciologist Sarah Das (Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution) from atop the Greenland Ice Sheet.

Interview with glaciologist Ian Joughin (Applied Physics Lab, University of Washington) atop the Greenland Ice Sheet.

From atop the Greenland Ice Sheet, Kristin Poinar, a graduate student at the University of Washington, describes observing first-hand the sudden rapid draining of a huge glacial lake.

From atop the Greenland Ice Sheet, Chris Linder, a photographer from Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, describes observing first-hand the sudden rapid draining of a huge glacial lake.

From a small rubber boat on a Greenlandic lake, climate researcher Billy D'Andrea introduces some of the equipment scientists use in limnological sampling. (Limnology is the study of freshwater systems, like lakes.)

Climate researcher Billy D'Andrea and colleagues explore the remote "back lakes" of Greenland.

To understand how Earth’s climate system has changed over time, scientists need to find, develop and use natural recorders of temperature and precipitation. One natural thermometer comes in the form of alkenones: trans-fats produced by certain algae.

Meet glaciologist Slawek Tulaczyk and his team, who work in the fast-emerging field of ice sheet dynamics. They speak to us just after returning from a month at a remote camp on the West Antarctic Ice Sheet.

Dr. Tulaczyk, a glaciologist from UC Santa Cruz, studies the lakes, floods, and ice quakes that occur under the giant glaciers of Antarctica. He is among only 200 scientists world-wide who study ice sheet dynamics and its role in climate change.