Search for rubber ducks – to help track a melting glacier


Behar alongside melt water flowing into a moulin

To help figure out what’s happening inside the fastest-moving Greenland glacier, a U.S. rocket scientist sent 90 rubber ducks into the ice, hoping someone finds them if they emerge in Baffin Bay…

The Jakobshavn Glacier is very likely the source of the iceberg that sank the Titanic in 1912 and researchers focus on it because it discharges nearly 7 percent of all the ice coming off Greenland. As the planet warms, its melting ice sheet could make oceans rise this century.

What you can’t see is how melting water moves through the ice.

In August, Alberto Behar flew by helicopter to a place on the glacier where rivers of melted ice flow into moulins. They released the flotilla of rubber ducks, each labeled with the words “science experiment” and “reward” in three languages, along with an e-mail address.

The ducks, if they are found and if somebody e-mails the discovery, would tell scientists where the water ends up…

Behar said he hoped a fisherman or hunter might find a duck or the probe but so far nothing has turned up.

Never enjoyed time on a glacier, especially. Though I believe that Behar’s endeavors may offer empirical results that aid in better understanding the mechanisms governing glacier behavior.