Ice is hardly a scarce commodity, even in a hot, arid climate like Dubai.
But that’s not stopping one Greenland startup from shipping it to exclusive bars in the city.
Arctic Ice, a company based in Greenland’s capital Nuuk, is taking 100,000-year-old ice from Arctic glaciers and exporting it overseas for profit.
According to the firm, the ice has been compressed over thousands of years, so lacks bubbles and melts more slowly than regular ice.
This is supposed to give a more luxurious experience for punters in Dubai’s top cocktail bars, ensuring spirits are less likely to be diluted.
Arctic Ice’s co-founder, Malik V Rasmussen, said he wanted to find a new source of revenue for Greenland, which relies on fishing and tourism
Arctic Ice take the precious commodity from Nuup Kangerlua, the fjord around Greenland’s capital, Nuuk
On its website, the company dubs it the ‘purest ice in the world, exquisitely from the pristine glaciers of Greenland’.
‘Arctic Ice is sourced directly from the natural glaciers in the Arctic which have been in a frozen state for more than 100,000 years,’ it says.
‘These parts of the ice sheets have not been in contact with any soils or contaminated by pollutants produced by human activities.
‘This makes Arctic Ice the cleanest H2O on Earth.’
Arctic Ice’s co-founder, Malik V Rasmussen, said he wanted to find a new source of revenue for Greenland, which is still part of the Kingdom of Denmark.
‘In Greenland, we make all our money from fish and from tourism,’ Rasmussen told the Guardian.
‘For a long time, I have wanted to find something else that we can profit from.’
Using a boat with a crane attached, Arctic Ice takes the luxury ice from Nuup Kangerlua, the fjord around Greenland’s capital, Nuuk.
Fjords are the long and narrow arms of the sea that extend out from land, often popular cruise locations for tourists.
Using a boat with a crane attached, Arctic Ice takes the luxury ice from Nuup Kangerlua, the fjord around Greenland’s capital, Nuuk
On its website, the company dubs it the ‘purest ice in the world’, ‘exquisitely from the pristine glaciers of Greenland’ (file photo)
Arctic Ice staff search for a specific type of ice that’s been in contact with neither the bottom nor top of the glacier – which is purer but more difficult to spot in the water.
According to the Guardian, the ice is put into huge plastic crates and taken back to Nuuk where it’s then put in refrigerated shipping containers that are transported to Denmark.
From Denmark, the containers are loaded on another ship and taken to Dubai, where the ice is sold to bars by a local distributor called Natural Ice.
Although Arctic Ice has only just dispatched its first 20 metric tonnes of ice, it’s received heavy criticism for turning a precious feature of the natural world into a commodity.
Some of this criticism in the form of social media comments and private messages has ‘verged on death threats’, the co-founder said.
One person told Arctic Ice: ‘Shouldn’t you be worrying about the effects of global warming rather than selling glacier water?’
Ice is hardly a scarce commodity, even in a hot, arid climate like Dubai, but that’s not stopping the Greenland startup from shipping it to exclusive bars in the Middle Eastern city (file photo)
In terms of the carbon footprint of the ice’s journey between Greenland and Dubai, Rasmussen insists that it is low and more eco-friendly than taking in by air.
Greenland is already shipping refrigerated containers but most are empty because the country imports more frozen goods than it exports, he claims.
‘Helping Greenland in its green transition is actually what I believe I was brought into this world to do,’ Rasmussen said.
‘We do have that agenda running through the company, but we may not have communicated it well enough yet.’
While using glacial ice in drinks is common in Greenland, exporting it across the world for profit is a different matter.
It’s already been predicted that Earth could lose most of its glaciers by 2100 thanks to climate change alone.
Western Antarctic glacier releases 2.16 BILLION tonnes of ice into the ocean every year thanks to climate change, study warns
One of the most feared effects of global warming is the rise of sea levels, which could plunge hundreds of coastal cities underwater this century.
A primary cause of rising sea levels is the melting of glaciers – slowly moving masses of ice, mainly found at Earth’s poles.
Unfortunately, scientists have identified a glacier in the Western Antarctic that is losing mass at an alarming level as its ice flows out to sea.
This image shows the Cadman Glacier before and after the collapse of its ice shelf – the part at the end of the glacier where ice extends out into the sea. The image on the left was taken in February 2017; right image was taken earlier this month
Called the Cadman Glacier, it’s releasing a whopping 2.16 billion tonnes of ice into the ocean every year due to climate change, they warn in a new study.
Because of this, its thickness is steadily decreasing at a rate of around 65 feet (20 metres) per year – equivalent to a five-storey building.