MAY 25, 2017 3:47 PM PDT

Is it possible to refreeze the Arctic?


Climate-change has driving a lot of melting in the Arctic, which is a cause for concern for many reasons. Because of that, some scientists have concocted a crazy plan - and it only costs five trillion dollars! The new paper is published in the journal Earth's Future and goes about explaining how we could potentially refreeze the Arctic. Sound interesting? Read on.

The plan is to use 10 million pumps powered by wind energy to cover the surviving ice caps with salty sea water in order to refreeze 10% of the Arctic ice cap. Sea water plus the frigid temperatures of the Arctic could form as much as three feet of new ice over the ice caps, and each three feet added could supposedly delay Arctic melting by 17 years. Hypothetically, if we were able to carry out this procedure by the early 2030s, we could reset the "clock" to current day.

But that's not at all to say that this Refreeze the Arctic plan would be the fix-it for climate change - if it were even plausible, it would only give a temporary band-aid. And that IF, well it's really a big IF. The amount of steel needed to build these pumps would be equivalent to more than all US industries produce in a year combined. And the plan really only accounts for 10% of the Arctic - including all of the Arctic would require a lot more money, time, and steel. Nevertheless, it is an exciting option to think about, so to learn more, watch the video!
About the Author
  • Kathryn is a curious world-traveller interested in the intersection between nature, culture, history, and people. She has worked for environmental education non-profits and is a Spanish/English interpreter.
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