To solve global environmental challenges, we first have to understand them. And that’s exactly what researchers from Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution and Massachusetts Institute of Technology are seeking to do with climate change.

Researchers from WHOI and MIT — along with others from around the world — regularly spend 80-plus days living and working in the wilds of Greenland.

“Greenland’s the kind of place where the second you step off the pavement, it’s real wilderness out there,” says Ben Linhoff, a graduate student at MIT/WHOI, in the introduction to the video “80 Days in Greenland.”

The video provides a behind-the-scenes look at the life of Linhoff and fellow researchers studying melting and associated radon releases from the Leverett Glacier in southwestern Greenland.

Once back from their time on the ice, the team learned something startling.

During three of the days they were in the field during the summer of 2012, the melting they were witnessing in a small corner of Greenland was part of a much larger phenomenon whereby nearly 98 percent of the surface of the entire ice sheet was thawing.

Over time, the knowledge Linhoff and others gained will lead to a better understanding of global climate dynamics not only in Greenland but also around the world.