It was one of those few best days, a day that was like two or more good ones combined. Later, I found myself thinking, was that really today or yesterday? This life is full of wonder. Greenland is a spectacular place.

Helicopter flights took us over spectacular scenes, where colors and scale defy comprehension. One moment you're thinking, 'that looks just like the Caribbean', then you're jarred back to the Arctic by massive flowing ice! This visual stimulation combined with the genuine satisfaction of completing a goal that began so recently as a humble idea. We had just deployed two automatic digital cameras, 'looking' at huge glaciers. This morning, we had been waiting through a lengthy application process for permission to land and leave equipment in this World Heritage site. And just as we were losing hope, the final fax came though, within moments we were starting the engine to go.

Arriving at the first site, the highest/furthest east land possible, beholding a vast sea of tortured ice, Martin, Hughie and I had the equipment up and running without a hitch. We actually couldn't afford a hitch. We had a maximum of 55 minutes for the work. But, it happened to be t-shirt weather, radiant sun, just enough wind to thwart mosquitoes. Landing at this place felt like what I imagine landing on Mars would be like, and the equipment like an alien observer.

The flight to the next site brought us along the 'ice front' of this massive Kangia/Jakobshavn glacier. But what a mess it looked, having retreated so much in only the past few years. There is no longer a well-defined ice cliff that drops down to water. All you see now is a wreckage of ice with a cliff (ice front) that comes and goes. It seems this glacier has retreated to or even behind its 'grounding line', meaning it no longer has a floating part. This is a huge departure from how I remember the glacier from my first flight over it in 1994. Since then, I've seen it from the air almost each year. I remember how in 2003, we did not recognize the glacier. It had changed in its otherwise fractal appearance of somehow organized crevasses and seracs to practical chaos, wreckage, smithereens. Today, this glacier looks even less healthy to me. Anyhow, I took many many photos that will help us understand how this glacier is changing.

After being buffeted around by clear air turbulence en route to our second of two sites, by a stream of air coming off 'the sheet', we arrived at my 'Cliff Cam' site, that had disappointed me so just two days earlier. The equipment had malfunctioned and delivered one image, one, instead of hundreds, the one being a view of a shallow fog hundreds of meters below. What felt so redeeming was to replace the malfunctioning equipment with a different system, one that had proven itself at two successful sites. The redeployment here was a simple task, and the view from this 300m (980 foot) cliff is just incredible. Thousands of sea birds feed below at the brown plume of water coursing from beneath the glacier. What they so eagerly hunt I know not, but these birds, and their prey, share some symbiotic relationship with the glacier.

My day continued to be exciting, as we landed on the ship, just minutes before the open boat began. A crowd awaited. I had time to change clothes, then out into the crowd... I was engaged, talking in detail with a number of people about how fascinating this unfolding climate story is. I had no expectation that studying Greenland would be this interesting and apparently significant on the global scale. I have reason to believe this ice sheet is contributing significantly to the observed 2.8mm (.11 inch) per year global mean sea level rise. More than 100 million people live within 1 m of sea level and so are threatened by expected rise.

One local said to me, 'we know the climate is changing... we don’t need scientists to tell us this...we just look out the window and see the ice and snow are not where they usually are...and the animals behave differently', apparently referring to how the seal or bird hunting season has changed.

The day ended meeting old friends, friends from 10 years earlier, invited back to their house, some wine to drink, a guitar to play, and a view on the walk to a hopping bar of the sun setting over icebergs.

- Jason