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Ice in Motion

As frozen lands disintegrate, researchers rush to catch the collapse

Jason Box spent the summer of 2009 waiting for Greenland’s Petermann Glacier to break apart. Everything signaled the glacier was ready to go. Melt ponds were pooling on its surface, and massive cracks were opening on the icy tongue that stretched offshore into Baffin Bay. Box, a glaciologist at Ohio State University in Columbus, spent two months on a ship, his cameras trained on the volatile edge where ice meets ocean. He was determined to catch Petermann in the act.

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