Earth Pub, the Discovery Channel's Global Science Blog, has a great little story by Kieran Mulvaney about a recent expedition to the Petermann Glacier in Greenland. Scientists, worried that the glacier might be on the verge of breaking up, wanted to deploy a special ice-penetrating radar to examine the glacier's interior.
The scientists brought along everything they could think of to drag the radar across the ice -- including snowmobiles and kites -- however the ice was in much worse shape than they'd imagined. Pitted and worn, the melting ice had formed melt lakes and whirlpools, and large cracks had filled with water to form long rivers of crystal-clear ice water.
So then the kayaks came out. Stringing out the radar between them, three kayaks made a 25km trek down the glacier gathering data, the initial results of which seem to indicate that the ice is thinner than the scientists were expecting.
And that's bad news. But if you're going to get bad news, you might as well do something fun to get it.