The Current

Wildfires Are Melting Greenland: The Ice Cores

Climate scientists Jason Box and McKenzie Skiles are packing up their ice core drills and heading to Greenland.

Jason Box coring Greenland snow.     Photo: N. Cobbing

We are to extract several ice cores, not miles deep but just to last summer’s record melt layer. That water is now refrozen and buried by several feet of snow. I keep thinking of the ice cores as ice candle sticks with an extinguished wick symbolizing the fire layer. These candlesticks are to be kept frozen in a sleeping bag inside a duffel bag (weight is a premium!) until we reach freezers on the coast. The ice will make its way eventually to labs in Copenhagen, Denmark and Pasadena, California.

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