Researchers aboard the Nathanial B. Palmer gather on the ship’s bridge to view one of the first icebergs they encountered.

Researchers aboard the Nathanial B. Palmer gather on the ship’s bridge to view one of the first icebergs they encountered on their voyage to Antarctica.

Credit:

Carolyn Beeler/The World 

The World’s Carolyn Beeler is on a ship bound for Antarctica on an expedition looking into the fate of one of the frozen continent's biggest glaciers. What they learn could tell us a lot about how quickly sea levels around the world will rise.

It's sobering work, but it does have its moments of just plain joy, like the ship's first encounters with icebergs as it was about to cross the Antarctic Circle.

iceberg

Waves crash against and smooth the base of the iceberg.

Credit:

Carolyn Beeler/The World 

iceberg

Observers reckoned the iceberg to be maybe twice as tall as their ship. The flat top of the tallest point was likely part of the surface of the ice shelf from which the iceberg calved off.

Credit:

Carolyn Beeler/The World 

Tall white iceberg recedes to the stern of the Nathaniel B. Palmer.

The iceberg recedes to the stern of the Nathaniel B. Palmer. The ship is on its way to study why and how fast Antarctica’s Thwaites Glacier may melt.

Credit:

Carolyn Beeler/The World 

Related: 

Antarctica Dispatch 2: Crossing the Drake Passage

Antarctica Dispatch 1: Gearing up and shipping out

What Thwaites Glacier can tell us about the future of West Antarctica

Editor's note: The audio version of this story included an incorrect last name for one of the scientists on board the Nathaniel B. Palmer. The correct name is Kelly Hogan, not Kelly Logan.

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