For the past two weeks two Washington Post reporters, Chris Mooney and Whitney Shefte, have been exploring Greenland, an enormous Arctic island that has scientists increasingly troubled as it continues to slowly melt. The two had an opportunity to tag along with a scientific team who were conducting research on the diminishing ice sheet.
Over the course of their travel, Mooney and Shefte have been documenting their adventure and observations on The Washington Post’s Instagram account. Here are some of the stunning scenes they came across during their travel.
The start of their arctic journey began in New Jersey, where the pair hopped on a C17 plane from McGuire Air Force Base and flew to Thule Air Force Base located in the northwest section of the island.
There, they explored the surrounding area for a few days, snapping pictures of glaciers in the North Star Bight and near the Wolstenholme Fjord before heading up the island to one of the most northern towns in the world: Qaanaaq.
After a brief respite in town, Mooney and Shefte prepared themselves for the real trek, where they would be helicopter hopping across the island with two scientists who would be conducting some research on one of the icy island’s farthest northern glaciers.
A few refueling stops later, the duo finally landed on a massive floating ice shelf: that of the Petermann Glacier.
The shelf itself is 10 by 30 miles in area, and one of the largest in Greenland. Mooney and Shefte followed Glaciologist Keith Nicholls and oceanographer Andreas Muenchow during their time on the massive piece of ice.
As they made their way around the shelf, they uploaded more breathtaking images of the glaciers to Instagram, while providing snippets of observations within the captions.
After spending a little more than a day observing the scientists on the ice, the crew hopped back across the island to get back to base. They grabbed their materials and notes to report on what they had learned while on the island, and flew off to return to Washington D.C.
The report itself will be published in the upcoming weeks, as Greenland’s melting situation continues and scientists observe the islands’ decline.
The scientific excursion was funded by the National Science Foundation, which invited the journalists to the research site and, in keeping with foundation policies, covered the costs of transportation and accommodation.