The picturesque port of Tasiilaq in southeastern Greenland served as home base for scientists investigating conditions in a glacial fjord for two months in 2008. Led by physical oceanographer Fiamma Straneo, the team of researchers from Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution and the University of Maine hired a local fishing boat to take them into Sermilik Fjord every morning and make the two-hour trip back to Tasiilaq, the only town in the region, every evening. In the fjord, a long, narrow bay that drains the enormous Helheim Glacier, they measured water temperature, salinity, and currents. They discovered that warm ocean water, carried north by the Gulf Stream and other large currents, was getting into the fjord and could be hastening the loss of glacier ice.
(Photo by Fiamma Straneo, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution)