Greenland: Reflections from a Melting Planet

The first thing I noticed after touching down in the western Greenland settlement of Kangerlussuuaq was barren rock and a gray, sediment-choked river.

It was day one of traveling with a group led by Rising Seas Institute and Oceanographer John Englander. As we stood on a new bridge that spans the Watson River, my heart dropped as we learned the reason for the new bridge: accelerated melt from glaciers and flooded ice dams washed the bridge away ten years ago and it had just been reconstructed.

This grim story of the Watson River flood foreshadowed our journey through this beautiful, treacherous, and mostly frozen island called Greenland. Reminders of a rapidly changing environment were everywhere.

We continued on to Iluulisat, a thriving port town, its bay filled with icebergs so enormous they resembled a bleached Manhattan skyline. The iceberg that sank the RMS Titanic is said to have split from the Kangia Glacier that feeds into this very bay. The difference of course, between 1912 and now, is the undeniable acceleration of calving and loss of ice and water from the Greenland Ice Sheet. 


It is hard to see these floating ice sculptures and their sheer size as anything but beautiful when traveling in a boat among them.

Flying over the massive ice sheet reveals a much different story. To view the frozen terrain from the air reveals the destructive forces behind the beauty we had sailed through. Glaciers retreat from the sea and the radiant blue pock marks of melt ponds scar the ice sheet.

The melt ponds form rivers that seem to disappear into the ice via mulons or vertical shafts. Black soot, dirt, mold and pulverized rock dust give the ice sheet a tired, worn look. The loss becomes more evident at the edge of the sheet, where the calving occurs. Thunderous booms echo across the valley as huge chunks of ice fall into the bay.


In a perfect world, fresh snow and ice would cover the ice sheet, as it used to. There would be markedly fewer melt ponds and the scarred, cracked surface would be hidden under a radiant blanket of snow and ice. But this is not a perfect world.

The Greenland Ice Sheet, if it were to disappear, would raise sea levels by 30 feet.

The critical role that ice plays in keeping our planet cool, be it sea ice or land ice, is nowhere more evident than in Greenland.

We must do something to slow the loss of ice in the Arctic. 

I share this story with you today, in the face of political inaction, because witnessing the devastation climate change has already caused, first hand, has inspired in me a new urgency for action. We can wait no longer. The world’s governments are failing to meet this moment and so we find ourselves in positions where we must each step up and join the fight for our planet’s future – for our future and next generations.

Time is not on our side, but at Arctic Ice Project we are working to change that. Arctic Ice Project has developed and is researching a promising technology that improves the reflectivity of sea ice. By mimicking the natural reflective properties of ice, AIP methods can reflect solar energy out of our atmosphere, shepherding sea ice to survive the increasingly long, warm and intense Arctic summers. Our solution, strategically and safely applied in the Arctic, could provide up to 15 more years for our world’s economies to decarbonize and draw down GHGs from the atmosphere. Decarbonization is the ultimate solution, however our window of opportunity is limited and we need to take action now. I have committed myself to being part of this exciting research solution and I encourage you to join me. 

This Giving Tuesday (just three weeks away), we are raising money to fund the next round of research towards ensuring our technology is safe and effective. We rely exclusively on private donations to support our research and need your help to reach our goal of $50,000 to continue our progress. Climate change action can’t be postponed another day, week or year – I urge you to help us meet this goal today.


With gratitude,

Carol Sontag

AIP Board of Directors


All images were taken by Carol Sontag during her trip to Greenland. 

Arctic Ice Project Welcomes Seasoned Nonprofit Executive Annette Eros as New Chief Executive Officer

Arctic Ice Project Welcomes Seasoned Nonprofit Executive Annette Eros as New Chief Executive Officer


Redwood City, CA, October 20, 2022 – Arctic Ice Project (AIP), a nonprofit dedicated to safely preserving and restoring Arctic ice to slow climate change, today announced Annette Eros has joined as Chief Executive Officer. The AIP Board of Directors has been familiar with Eros and her work as a nonprofit leader for several years. Eros was selected by the board to lead the global organization and help accelerate progress toward restoring Arctic ice, the Earth’s natural heat shield. Emphasizing relationships with top research organizations, Indigenous tribes, and national/regional governments and NPOs, Eros understands the importance of increased global collaborations and exposure to the success of the project. 

“Annette brings the expertise and experience that will help align necessary resources to realize our ambitious growth objectives, including expanding our technical work, developing new strategic partnerships, and increasing major donor participation on a global scale,” said Steve Payne, chairman of the board of AIP. “She is a strategic and inspirational leader with a proven track record in transformational nonprofit leadership and will help advance our vision and goals so we can prove and scale our climate restoration solution while there’s still time.”

In her role, Annette Eros is responsible for advancing efforts to prove the efficacy and safety of AIP’s solution to preserve and restore Arctic ice to slow climate change and extend the window of opportunity to preserve the Earth’s environments and ecosystems. Under her direction, the team will expand research partnerships, increase funding and establish international policy and governance for the adoption of AIP’s proven methods at scale by local communities, governments, and global institutions. 

“With global warming advancing quicker and more dramatically than expected, we all have a responsibility to take meaningful action and become part of the solution,” said Eros. “I am thrilled to join our dedicated and passionate group of experts who understand the urgency of our global crisis and have identified a potential solution that, with further research, can safely preserve and restore Arctic ice.” 

In agreement with a recent report by the National Academy of Science, AIP believes that a major research and development effort is urgently needed to fully understand the safety, effectiveness, cost and potential unintended consequences of currently proposed climate intervention approaches.

“Once implemented at scale, our approach will provide the much-needed time to complete the global transition to more sustainable energy and conservation solutions,” said Steve Zornetzer, vice-chair at AIP and retired associate center director for research and technology at NASA’s Ames Research Center in Silicon Valley. “Interventions like AIP’s can have a significant impact in reducing the worst of climate risks but must be accompanied by rapid decarbonization in order to have a lasting effect. There is a limited window of opportunity to intervene.”

Recent research indicates that the Arctic could be free of sea ice in summer by 2030. Losing the reflective power of Arctic sea ice will lead to levels of warming and sea rise that pose an extreme threat to humanity. With full funding, AIP expects to prove the efficacy and safety of increasing ice reflectivity in five years. That is, in time for large-scale adoption by international coalitions to avert an even greater crisis. 

To demonstrate and subsequently influence global adoption of a safe, effective and timely  ice preservation methodology, AIP partners with preeminent research institutions to ensure the highest quality testing and public confidence in outcomes. AIP openly publishes its research findings in peer-reviewed scientific publications and shares its progress through partnerships and strategic communications outreach with Arctic experts and Indigineous communities around the world.

Eros brings more than 30 years of executive leadership experience for regional and national organizations. She has extensive experience and a proven track record developing and executing impact-driven strategies, transforming and scaling organizations, fundraising, accelerating growth of programs, activating creative collaborative partnerships, and ensuring responsible business practices.

Prior to joining AIP, Eros served as president at Carondelet High School, chief executive officer at Ronald McDonald House Charities Bay Area, president and chief executive officer at The Kidney TRUST, executive director at Ronald McDonald House Charities of San Diego and a change management consultant to dozens of nonprofit and mission-based organizations. Before that Eros enjoyed multiple positions in marketing and communications. She completed the Executive Leadership Program at Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management, earned her master’s degree in Nonprofit Leadership and Management from the University of San Diego and her bachelor’s degree in Journalism from San Diego State University. 

About Arctic Ice Project
Arctic Ice Project is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit leading the global effort to stop Arctic ice melt using a safe, localized approach. By collaborating with top scientific and research organizations in the climate field, AIP is focused on the most promising solution to date, a novel materials approach that proposes to deploy a thin layer of very small hollow glass microspheres across strategically chosen small regions of the Arctic to improve the reflectivity of sea ice, mimicking natural processes to reflect solar energy out of our atmosphere and restore the Arctic. In addition to its ongoing technical work, the team is working to establish international policy, governance, and funding for the adoption of its solution in a manner that ensures involvement and consent from local communities, governments, and global institutions. For more information, please visit Follow Arctic Ice Project: Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter.



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