Scientists working on desperate plan to refreeze Arctic



It sounds kind of strange: To prevent the snowy Arctic from melting away due to global warming, some scientific experts have been working on plans to hack the climate across the region.

This doesn’t involve putting the Arctic in an unfathomably large freezer like so much ground beef, but it would entail a whole host of projects – some already underway – to cool the region by reflecting sunlight, according to one new video short of The Wall Street Journal.

One experiment involves pumping water to the surface, where it will freeze and form a protective layer over the Arctic snow. In another example, scientists scatter reflective glass beads over the snow to reflect the sun’s harsh rays.

These are all forms of geoengineeringtechniques to shape certain aspects of the environment to offset the damage caused by climate change. The fact that we are even seriously considering these experiments means that our collective mitigation efforts are not enough – because Last year was the warmest year ever recorded for the Arctic.

Ice cream baby

In the WJ video, a Dutch startup called Arctic reflections shows the core of his own experiment: pumping seawater at ‘strategically chosen locations across the Arctic Ocean’ to ‘restore the Arctic ice as a heat shield by thickening the ice in winter’.

“The Dutch way of building ice rinks for skating marathons was inspiration for us,” CEO Fonger Ypma of Arctic Reflections told the WJ.

Ypma referred to IJsmeesters, or ice masters in Dutch, who flood fields to create ice rinks. The idea is that by taking inspiration from these rink makers, people could lay down a shield of protective ice that would make the Arctic thicker and sustain the Arctic a little longer until other technologies reduce global CO2 emissions.

“The ice can become regenerative again,” Ypma said.

But the proof is in the pudding. And even then, it would essentially be a band-aid solution as the world tries to make much more drastic environmental changes.

More about geoengineering: City closes geo-engineering experiment

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