Wildfires Are Melting Greenland: Expedition Begins

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

Jun 16, 2013
Outside Magazine

Jason Box at the abandoned DYE-2 station May 2003.    Photo: M. McCallister

Six months in, we've raised $90,000 and committed to a field campaign. We’re charging up our spectrometer and assembling an ice core drill. We've by now booked commercial air travel and are heading to Greenland this 24 of June.

From Greenland’s coast, it’s not a short flight to the ice sheet southern topographic divide at an elevation of 8000 feet (2440 meters). Reacting to a funding constraint, we’ve abandoned the more expensive use of a ski-equipped airplane. We’ve instead committed to the more affordable helicopter option. The airplane would have afforded a larger field party but we have to settle for lean-and-mean. Even reducing our crew to the lightest possible 3 souls—the pilot, myself and McKenzie Skiles—and substituting more fuel for the weight of a 4th passenger, we needed to established a fuel depot halfway to our destination in Saddle, Greenland. Partnering with an earlier ice sheet traverse, we now have that fuel depot beside DYE-2, an abandoned Cold War-era radar station built by the United States.

(We've not yet reached our full funding objective but it's not too late to help. Dark Snow project supports are effectively joining the expedition and will be the first to receive first-hand reports and updates. You can learn more here.)

Filed To: Science, Nature