What is a 15,000-kilo Arctic iceberg doing in Malaga?

by Lorraine Williamson

MALAGA – From September Málaga in Southern Spain will be the temporary home base for an Arctic iceberg of no less than 15,000 kilos. The action is part of an awareness campaign about the melting of the Arctic ice. 

That phenomenon has been a constant for 800,000 years, but the ice is now shrinking at an alarming rate due to the effects of climate change. A group of young people from Málaga, all cured of cancer, visited Greenland. They did so under the guidance of the Malaga-born explorer Manuel Calvo and his two sons. He organises the trip in recognition of their fight against the disease. 

During their 17-day journey, which started on July 17, the adolescents explored the south of the Danish island. They did this by both boat and kayak, due to the fjord-like landscape of the area. Throughout their journey, they have lived closely with the Inuit people, also known as Eskimos. They slept in tents on the Arctic ice and the homes of these indigenous people. During their experience, they collected scientific evidence on the effects of global warming, which will later be transferred to the University of Málaga. 

Related: How climate change could affect tourism in Spain 

In addition to documenting the area and collecting biological samples for various institutions, the entire adventure and exploration of the team in the Arctic will be shown in the film documentary “Arctic Challenge – Operation Iceberg”. 

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A giant block of ice as an informative souvenir 

As a clear signal of the urgency of the problem, the members of the ‘Desafío Ártico: Operación Iceberg’ expedition, supported by the Fundación Dingonatura and the provincial government of Málaga, have brought a piece of ice weighing 15,000 kilos back to Málaga. After the expedition obtained the export license from the government of Greenland for scientific research, the ice is currently on a cargo ship in a refrigerated container at -22 degrees Celsius. In September the iceberg is due to arrive in Málaga. 

Activities will then be organised where the public can watch the ice melt, to raise awareness of the realities of climate change. 

Criticism of the initiative 

However, this initiative has also received criticism. Ecologistas en Acción, an environmental campaign group, has condemned the move as “one of the projects that most mock the fight against climate change.” Carmen Segura, a member of the organisation, criticises the need to keep the ice at -20ºC as “a waste of energy and an affront to the climate fight.” She likens it to displaying a huge amount of water on the street, only to have it evaporate to create awareness about the importance of water conservation. 

Related post: Spain is the second European country to be concerned about climate change 


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