100 tonnes of Greenlandic ice was brought to Copenhagen to melt in front of onlookers in order to make "the climate challenges we are facing tangible". Photo: Anders Sune Berg
Working with geologist Minik Rosning, Danish-Icelandic artist Olafur Eliasson brought a project called Ice Watch to Copenhagen on Sunday, installing 12 huge blocks of Greenlandic inland ice at City Hall Square (Rådhuspladsen) so onlookers could see – and hear – the ice melting for themselves.
According to Eliasson and Rosing, the 12 giant blocks were arranged in clock formation in order to provide “a physical wake-up call: Climate change is a fact. Temperatures are rising. The ice is melting. Sea levels are rising.”
The pair also said that using 100 tonnes of inland ice was symbolic, as that is the amount of inland ice that melts every hundredth of a second.
Ice Watch was timed to coincide with the gathering of the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) in Copenhagen and the release of the panel’s fifth assessment report on the climate. The IPCC meetings take place Monday through Friday.
See photos of the Greenlandic ice melting in Copenhagen here.