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Cue the Rifle Shot

ILULISSAT, GREENLAND– At first the scientists weren’t sure what was happening: a loud boom followed by reverberating cracks and pops coming from the direction of the ice-top lake. Then the water in the lake started receding and everyone realized that the ice underneath had opened up and was draining millions of gallons of water before their eyes.

Lisa and I were lucky enough to catch a helicopter ride up to visit the lake camp and catch some interviews while the event was still fresh in everyone’s mind. On the way out and back, we saw a complex network of the streams, ponds, ice cracks, and lakes that develop on the Greenland Ice Sheet every summer.

In these first videos, I interview Kristin Poinar, a graduate student at the University of Washington, and Chris Linder, a photographer from Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution who describe what they saw, heard and felt when the lake was draining. During our interview with Chris, we hear what sounds like a rifle shot, remnants of ice cracking he was in the process of describing.

Stay tuned for interviews with the lead glaciologists on the project, who describe what it’s like for a scientist to actually experience an event previously only observed through remote satellite imaging and instruments.

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4 Responses »

  1. rifle shot – what a great show with christen and chris .. looking forward for more mary

  2. This is great and exciting. Can’t wait to see the before and after shots!

  3. Thanks–we’ll try to get some satellite or airborne images to put on the website. It was so exciting to be there just a couple of days after it happened, you can tell the scientists are excited too!

  4. Pretty amazing! Love the stories!