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31 days of ideas
Kristin Poinar

What's hidden under the Greenland ice sheet?

Recommended by Zaria Forman

I was thrilled to discover Kristin Poinar's TED Talk on the aquifer under the Greenland ice sheet. Poinar is part of a cohort of glaciologists and other cryospheric scientists whose work has informed my art over the last several years. Her work is integral to our global understanding of the rapid changes occurring in the landscapes I love and depict in my work. We had the chance to meet in Greenland this past Spring when we both flew over various parts of the Arctic with NASA's Operation IceBridge. Poinar discusses these very flights in her talk and shows stunning footage of the ice from the air.  

The data Poinar and her colleagues have collected provides crucial information about how ice loss is occurring and what these changes mean for sea level rise. Findings from the project are alarming, and yet our global community is not responding with appropriate urgency. While the cryospheric science that Poinar studies is difficult for most of us to comprehend, her talk turns glacial melt into a problem we can all relate to. We as individuals must familiarize ourselves with the challenges facing our global communities so that we can collectively participate in solving them. Poinar emphasizes the crucial need to uncover the many mysteries that still lie inside Greenland's ice sheet so that we can better plan for the sea level rise it holds. In a time when NASA's climate research is in jeopardy, Poinar’s message is urgently needed.

Watch "What's hidden under the Greenland ice sheet?"
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