GREENLAND SEA, aboard the Kronprins HaakonOn an ice floe in the Greenland Sea, high above the Arctic Circle, Ingeborg Hallanger is vacuuming up plastic.
We’re standing on a patch of “fast ice,” so called because it’s held fast in a jumble of icebergs stuck on the shallow shelf off Greenland’s northeast coast. A rumpled white tabletop, pocked by blue meltwater pools and webbed with cracks, stretches to the horizon. Greenland’s glaciers shimmer in the distance.
Hallanger, a researcher with the Norwegian Polar Institute in Tromsø, Norway, peers into a hole that has been drilled through the yard-thick ice and threads a hose down to the liquid surface just below. As other members of the research expedition patrol with rifles for polar bears, whose appearance would force a