Science

Arctic Refreezing Machine Could Save Arctic Sea

By Donna Bellevue , Feb 16, 2017 02:58 AM EST
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A team of scientists have come up with a surprisingly simple solution to potentially save our polar regions: arctic refreezing. To replace the disappearing ice caps, we just need to make more ice. It's the most doable idea so far, but building the machines to refreeze sea ice caps would cost $500 billion.

The Arctic ice caps are melting at record-breaking speed, and if people keep using fossil fuel, we risk losing all Arctic sea ice by 2030. And asking people to reduce their carbon emission does not seem to work out well. That's when professor of astrophysics, Steven Desch, and his team from Arizona State University hatched up a crazy plan that does not involve begging people to be more environmentally friendly.

Their strategy focuses on Arctic refreezing. Freeze the water under the ice caps to generate more ice. In order to do this, they propose building 10 million wind-powered pumps that will suck in water from underneath the ice caps, spill it out onto the ice surface where it can refreeze since the top of the ice sheet is the coldest part, the Huffington Post reports.

The idea seems simple enough, but the process is complicated and expensive. The new proposal is only theoretical for now, but the problem is urgent. The rapid loss of sea ice caps is threatening the existence of a number of animals and their sources of food, CNN reports.

It's harder for Polar bears to find food, and it's causing the dwindling down of the number of Arctic cod. "The Arctic is the most fragile part of our climate system," Desch says. The Arctic refreezing proposal might be too costly but perhaps it is an inevitable cost of maintaining our planet’s future, as the current trend for melting shows no signs of slowing down.

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