Postcard: Greenland

Under the glare of the arctic summer, scientists drill through centuries of snow for clues about the future. The search for a polar tipping point

Hakan Ludwigson for TIME

NEEM researchers measure climate change using air captured in ancient ice.

To understand what has happened to the earth's atmosphere--and, therefore, how our climate might change in the future--some ice-core scientists in the Arctic are training their eyes directly downward. It's an incredibly important job. It's also, as the participants in the North Greenland Eemian Ice Drilling (NEEM) project will attest, incredibly fun. Where else can you snowmobile all day across Olympic-quality piste, make modern art out of 200-year-old ice crystals and relax at "night" (the sun never sets during the arctic summer) with copious amounts of Carlsberg beer delivered by the U.S. Air Force? Oh, and in your downtime, you can...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!