Will refreezing save the Arctic and Antarctica?
Scientists are looking into polar geoengineering concepts to help save the world's glaciers and ice sheets.
ANTARCTICA — Scientists have suggested plans to save Antarctic glaciers and Arctic sea ice by refreezing them.
According to Reuters, scientists believe the West Antarctic ice sheet is on course to disintegrate due to the effects of global warming.
This would trigger a global sea level rise that would leave many coastal cities, such as New York, underwater.
To prevent this from happening, a new study published in Science Advances has proposed using 12,000 wind turbines to pump sea water to the surface, turn it into artificial snow and then pump it onto two glaciers on the West Antarctic coast.
According to study co-author Anders Levermann it would take 7.4 trillion tonnes of snow over a 10-year period to result in a two-centimeter drop in sea level, though the artificial snow would weigh the glaciers down and improve stability.
Other research suggests warm water currents may be melting the glaciers from the bottom up, prompting an idea to construct giant sills or underwater mounds to prevent the water from seeping under the ice shelves.
CNBC reports that Arizona State University physicist Steven Desch has similar refreezing plans for the Arctic.
His Arctic ice management strategy calls for the use of wind-powered pumps to spray water to the surface of sea ice, where it would freeze and thicken the ice cap.
Many scientists believe the consequences of global warming are already inevitable, and when they do occur, just turning down the temperature won't cut it.
Since efforts to curb this problem aren't keeping pace with the Paris Agreement, Desch suggests it's time to start looking into unconventional options.
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