BRUGES, Belgium – Ice sculptures really aren't really cut out for this kind of balmy November weather.
Just a few weeks ahead of global climate change talks in Paris, ice sculpture festivals in Western Europe are feeling the impact of a particularly warm November that spotlights steadily rising world temperatures.
In Bruges, at the Ice Sculpture Festival, it means soaring energy bills to keep temperatures at minus 16 Celsius (3 Fahrenheit), while outside, people are soaking up the sun at 16 Celsius (61 Fahrenheit) when it should be some 10 degrees less. For the artists, the temperature shocks have meant sniffles and colds.
"The winter is coming later and later," said Ice Magic Managing Director Francis Vandendorpe, who has been organizing the festival since 1999.