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Electric car rally set for Greenland glacier to raise climate change awareness

The Russell Glacier Photo: Extreme E/PA

An extreme electric car rally will be held in Greenland to highlight “very scary” rates of melting ice in the Arctic nation.Extreme E, an off-road racing series, will launch in 2021 with electric SUVs going head-to-head in five remote environments, including at the Russell Glacier in west Greenland.The organisers hope the sport will focus attention on climate threats across the planet.Data published by the European Union’s Copernicus Climate Change Service (C3S) suggests temperatures in Greenland in July were “particularly high compared to the 1981-2010 average”.As well as Greenland, race locations are also being scouted in the Himalayas, an Indian Ocean island, and desert and rainforest habitats.

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Professor Peter Wadhams, an expert in ice melt from Cambridge University, advised Extreme E on racing in Greenland, and thinks the project could help educate people on the rates of climate change.He said: “On August 1, the ice cap lost 12.5 billion tonnes of ice, a new daily record loss.“If you consider what that level of daily loss does to global sea levels, it’s very scary indeed.“It really is a crisis – this is happening now, today, and we need to act fast to have any chance of slowing it down.“The site we have found here in Greenland is ideal. Racing over that area won’t have a harmful effect on the environment, but the potential awareness and education that could be generated through the powerful sporting platform will be enormous.”

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Founder of Extreme E, Alejandro Agag, said: “As well as being a serious motor race series, Extreme E has a strong sporting purpose to promote the adoption of electric mobility in the fight to lower global emission levels, an issue we can no longer ignore, especially here in Greenland.”He confirmed the project has the support of Greenland’s government, as well as Cambridge University, and hopes it “will double as a catalyst for positive awareness, education and scientific research, aiming to leave only positive impact behind when we depart”.