‘Snotsicles' – distinctly unattractive masses of frozen snot – are just some of the challenges of doing science in a place as extreme as the Antarctic.
Scientists fear the Thwaites Glacier could be beginning a process of catastrophic collapse.
There is more than three metres of potential sea level rise in the ice of West Antarctica, enough to swamp many of the great cities of the world and drive hundreds of millions of people from their homes.
The BBC's chief environment correspondent, Justin Rowlatt travelled with a team of scientists who are part of a $50 million joint US-UK project.
But, as he discovered, doing science in one of the most extreme environments on Earth is not easy.
Filming by Jemma Cox