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Greenland: A Global Warming Laboratory

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As the sea levels around the globe rise, researchers affiliated with the National Science Foundation and other organizations are studying the phenomena of melting glaciers and the long-term ramifications. Rapid warming at the summit of the Greenland ice sheet has caused year after year of record melting at the surface, raising concern, even as recent research indicates the ice sheet has endured warmer periods. The warmer temperatures that have had an effect on the glaciers in Greenland also have altered the ways in which the local populace farm, fish, hunt and even travel across land. Getty Images photojournalist Joe Raedle traveled north recently, spending two weeks documenting the scientists tracking Greenland's transformation, as well as some of the spectacular scenery and residents engaged in their daily lives. [34 photos]

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The village of Ilulissat is seen near the icebergs that broke off from the Jakobshavn Glacier, on July 24, 2013 in Ilulissat, Greenland. Researchers affiliated with the National Science Foundation and other organizations are studying the phenomena of melting glaciers and its long-term ramifications. (Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
The village of Ilulissat is seen near the icebergs that broke off from the Jakobshavn Glacier, on July 24, 2013 in Ilulissat, Greenland. Researchers affiliated with the National Science Foundation and other organizations are studying the phenomena of melting glaciers and its long-term ramifications. (Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
A caribou walks in the foreground of a glacier, on July 12, 2013 in Kangerlussuaq, Greenland. (Joe Raedle/Getty Images) #
Professor David Noone from the University of Colorado uses a snow pit to study the layers of ice in the glacier at Summit Station, on July 11, 2013 on the Glacial Ice Sheet, Greenland. (Joe Raedle/Getty Images) #
Water stands on part of the glacial ice sheet that covers about 80 percent of Greenland, on July 17, 2013. (Joe Raedle/Getty Images) #
Fisherman Nikolaj Sandgreen works near icebergs that broke off from the Jakobshavn Glacier, on July 22, 2013 in Ilulissat, Greenland. (Joe Raedle/Getty Images) #
A boat cruises past icebergs from the Jakobshavn Glacier, as the sun reaches its lowest point of the day on July 23, 2013 in Ilulissat. (Joe Raedle/Getty Images) #
Jason Briner, with the University of Buffalo Department of Geology, looks for the right spot to gather samples of granite to research the age of the local glacial retreat, on July 24, 2013 near Ilulissat. (Joe Raedle/Getty Images) #
Jason Briner, with the University of Buffalo, uses a hammer and chisel to gather samples of granite to research the age of the local glacial retreat, on July 24, 2013 near Ilulissat. (Joe Raedle/Getty Images) #
Flowers in Kangerlussuaq, Greenland, photographed on July 14, 2013. (Joe Raedle/Getty Images) #
Kurt Burnham, President and CEO, High Arctic Institute, holds a Peregrine Falcon chick as he studies the possible effects climate change has on bird populations in Kangerlussuaq, Greenland, on July 10, 2013. (Joe Raedle/Getty Images) #
A full moon, over an iceberg from the Jakobshavn Glacier, on July 23, 2013 near Ilulissat. (Joe Raedle/Getty Images) #
Water flows across the surface of the glacial ice sheet, photographed on July 17, 2013. (Joe Raedle/Getty Images) #
David Shean, a Ph.D. student at the University of Washington, looks at a canyon created over time by a meltwater stream on July 16, 2013 on Greenland's glacial ice sheet. Shean along with other scientists are using Global Positioning System sensors to closely monitor the evolution of surface lakes and the motion of the surrounding ice sheet. (Joe Raedle/Getty Images) #
A tent, near the worksite of scientists Sarah Das from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution and Ian Joughin of the University of Washington along with their team, as they conduct research on July 15, 2013 on the glacial ice sheet. The scientists set up Global Positioning System sensors to closely monitor the evolution of the surface lakes and the motion of the surrounding ice sheet and have uncovered a plumbing system for the ice sheet, where meltwater can penetrate thick, cold ice and accelerate some of the large-scale summer movements of the ice sheet. (Joe Raedle/Getty Images) #
Air bubbles in a puddle of surface melt in the glacial ice sheet that covers about 80 percent of the Greenland on July 15, 2013. (Joe Raedle/Getty Images) #
Ice crystals on the surface of the glacial ice sheet, photographed on July 17, 2013. (Joe Raedle/Getty Images) #
Sarah Das from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution looks at a canyon created by a meltwater stream on July 16, 2013 on the glacial ice sheet. (Joe Raedle/Getty Images) #
Meltwater stands on the surface of the glacial ice sheet, on July 17, 2013. (Joe Raedle/Getty Images) #
Laura Stevens, graduate student from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, walks past a meltwater lake on July 16, 2013. She along with a group of scientists closely monitor the evolution of the surface lakes and the motion of the surrounding ice sheet. (Joe Raedle/Getty Images) #
Icebergs, viewed through a kitchen window in Qeqertaq, Greenland, on July 20, 2013. (Joe Raedle/Getty Images) #
A person walks through the village of Qeqertaq, Greenland, on July 20, 2013. As Greenlanders adapt to the changing climate and go on with their lives, researchers from the National Science Foundation and other organizations are studying the phenomena of the melting glaciers and its long-term ramifications for the rest of the world. (Joe Raedle/Getty Images) #
On the day of their wedding, Ottilie Olsen and Adam Olsen (left) pose for a picture in Qeqertaq, Greenland, on July 20, 2013. (Joe Raedle/Getty Images) #
Inuk Lange attends the wedding party of his granddaughter Ottilie in Qeqertaq, on July 20, 2013. (Joe Raedle/Getty Images) #
Newlyweds, Adam Olsen and Ottilie Olsen kiss as they stand on chairs in a hall in Qeqertaq, on July 20, 2013. (Joe Raedle/Getty Images) #
Ottilie Olsen prepares to throw a bouquet of flowers in a hall in Qeqertaq, on July 20, 2013. (Joe Raedle/Getty Images) #
The Olsen wedding party enjoys music and dance in Qeqertaq, on July 20, 2013. (Joe Raedle/Getty Images) #
Fireworks are launched during the Olsen wedding party in Qeqertaq, on July 20, 2013. (Joe Raedle/Getty Images) #
A glacier near Kangerlussuaq, Greenland, photographed on July 13, 2013. (Joe Raedle/Getty Images) #
The front side of a glacier near Kangerlussuaq, Greenland, on July 10, 2013. (Joe Raedle/Getty Images) #
An iceberg floats through the water near Ilulissat, Greenland, on July 21, 2013. (Joe Raedle/Getty Images) #
A hunter carries his rifle as he heads to his boat in Ilulissat, on July 19, 2013. (Joe Raedle/Getty Images) #
A sled dog rests near houses, with icebergs in the background from Jakobshavn Glacier, in Ilulissat, on July 17, 2013. (Joe Raedle/Getty Images) #
Youngsters rollerblade on an Ilulissat street in Greenland, on July 18, 2013. (Joe Raedle/Getty Images) #
The village of Ilulissat, near icebergs from Jakobshavn Glacier, on July 24, 2013. (Joe Raedle/Getty Images) #

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