GREENLAND - Skimming low over the gleaming white glaciers on Greenland´s coast in a modified 1940s plane, three NASA scientists, led by an Elvis-impersonating oceanographer, waited to drop a probe into the water beneath them.

They are part of Oceans Melting Greenland -- or OMG -- a mission that has flown around the vast island for four summers, dropping probes to collect data on how oceans contribute to the rapid melt of Greenland´s ice.

Dressed in a blue jumpsuit and with thick sideburns that give a hint of his occasional pastime impersonating Elvis, Joshua Willis, 44, is the oceanographer from NASA´s Jet Propulsion Laboratory behind the project - and, along with his wife, its name.

“We´re looking at probably metres of sea level rise in the next hundred years and that´s a huge threat to hundreds of millions of people around the world, so a bit of alarm and OMG is probably warranted,” he said.

Passing over rocky fjords, dazzling glaciers and icebergs, some dozens of metres (feet) high looming out of the water, Willis and the crew took turns dropping the 1.5-metre cylindrical probes and watching as the data came in showing the ocean´s temperature and salinity.