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...

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