Is Bloomberg Mixing The World's Biggest G&T?

Laura Reynolds
By Laura Reynolds Last edited 60 months ago

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Is Bloomberg Mixing The World's Biggest G&T?

Six hulking blocks of ice are slowly melting outside Bloomberg's Cannon Street building, leading to suggestions that the company's next venture is mixing the world's largest G&T.

The blocks are in fact the frozen components of Ice Watch, an installation raising awareness of the effects of climate change. We'd agree that the effects are evident so far —  by 9am on the first morning of the installation, much of the surrounding area was puddle.

Artist Olafure Eliasson and geologist Minik Rosing are the minds behind Ice Watch London, which is supported by Bloomberg Philanthropies, the charitable arm of the company which focuses on the environment, public health, the arts, government innovation and education.

24 further blocks of ice have appeared outside Tate Modern by the Thames as part of the same project. The public are encouraged to touch — and, if you're so inclined, lick and smell — the ice.

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Ice Watch is running. Come feel it before it’s gone. #icewatchlondon @tate

A post shared by Studio Olafur Eliasson (@studioolafureliasson) on

Each block weights between 1.5 and 5 tonnes — or at least they did when they arrived. They were harvested as free-floating icebergs from a fjord outside Nuuk, Greenland. Between 200–300 billion tonnes of land ice is lost around Greenland each year due to climate change.

Nature will be left to do its thing — the ice blocks' life span depends on the weather over the coming days. The milder it is, the quicker they'll disappear.

The project has previously been on display in Copenhagen and Paris. People seemed fascinated and amused by the ice when we wandered past, but questions have been raised about whether the project is doing more damage than it is good, by removing ice from Greenland and transporting it to the UK, with all the carbon that journey produces.

According to Ice Watch London:

Greenland ice sheet loses 10,000 such blocks of ice per second throughout the year; fishing these blocks of ice from the sea did not affect the quantity of ice in Greenland.

As for that carbon footprint:

Studio Olafur Eliasson is partnering with Julie’s Bicycle to understand and minimise the environmental impacts produced by Ice Watch; a full carbon footprint will be produced on completion of the project.

Here's the carbon footprint report [PDF] from the 2015 exhibition in Paris.

Here's a video of the ice being installed:

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The final journey of the ice. Ice Watch is now in place in front of @Tate Modern. Come meet it! #icewatchlondon

A post shared by Studio Olafur Eliasson (@studioolafureliasson) on

Ice Watch London is outside Bloomberg HQ on Bucklersbury and outside Tate Modern by the Thames until 21 December or until the ice melts. It's free to visit and visitors are encouraged to touch and interact with the ice.

Last Updated 11 December 2018