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A team of scientists from Arizona State University have devised a water pumping system that would reverse the devastating effects of climate change in the Arctic ice cap, according to a new report by The Guardian.
Physicist Steven Desch and a team of his colleagues from the desert university propose constructing 10 million wind-powered pumps in the Arctic, where they would pump up water that would freeze on the surface, in turn reinforcing the cap.
The technique could add an extra meter of ice to the current slab covering the North Pole, which rarely exceeds two to three meters in thickness in its current state. Ongoing erosion eats away at the layer every day.
“Thicker ice would mean longer-lasting ice. In turn, that would mean the danger of all sea ice disappearing from the Arctic in summer would be reduced significantly,” Desch told the Observer.
The $500 billion plan would slow down the effects of the rise in the Earth’s average temperature, which is occurring at two times the rate previous models have predicted, The Guardian noted.
“Our only strategy at present seems to be to tell people to stop burning fossil fuels,” says Desch. “It’s a good idea but it is going to need a lot more than that to stop the Arctic’s sea ice from disappearing.”
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Those involved in designing the project believe that even commitments made by the international community in the 2015 Paris agreement will be insufficient to prevent the planet from heating up, causing droughts, floods and other natural disasters. By 2030, the Arctic could lose all of its sea ice.
“The situation is causing grave concern,” says Professor Julienne Stroeve, of University College London. “It is now much more dire than even our worst case scenarios originally suggested.’
By Zainab Calcuttawala
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Zainab Calcuttawala is an American journalist based in Morocco. She completed her undergraduate coursework at the University of Texas at Austin (Hook’em) and reports on…
What else could we do with $500B?
Tesla, LG Chem and others could build out gigafactories to produce 5 TWh of batteries each year, enough to replace 50 mb/d of oil consumption with renewables.
These batteries go into both vehicles and the grid. 15 TWh of annual capacity (10 TWh for vehicles and 5 TWh for the grid) should suffice to eliminate fossil fuel consumption from the planet halting the build of CO2 in the atmosphere, oceans and biosphere. So 5 TWh is one third of what is needed to halt carbon-induced climate change.