Scientists' Crazy Plan To Refreeze The Arctic

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Scientists' Crazy Plan To Refreeze The Arctic

Hint: It involves 10 million sea water pumps.

Climate change is very real, and one of its biggest victims is Arctic sea ice. Since the 1980s, the amount of ice has, on average, dropped by more than 13 percent each decade.

But we may not need to worry, because according to a paper just published in the journal, Earth's Future, scientists may have an ingenious solution. The plan is to "refreeze" ten percent of the arctic ice cap by using giant wind-powered pumps to cover the existing caps with salty seawater.

When the seawater is sprayed on top of frozen ice and surrounded by the -40 degree celsius air, it freezes into new ice. According to the paper, it would take 10 million wind-powered pumps, outputting roughly 16.5 pounds of water per second, to add 3 feet of ice over ten percent of the Arctic Ocean. For every 4 feet of water pumped onto the surface, the ice will become roughly 3 feet thicker, a plan that, if it works, will postpone the loss of the ice caps by about 17 years for every year they do this.

As the researchers say, "implementation over the entire Arctic in the early 2030s ... would reset the clock to the present day." That's great news because at the current rate, scientists estimate the polar ice caps will be entirely gone by 2030.

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Read More:

Science Alert: Scientists Have Announced a Plan to 'Refreeze' the Arctic - and It's Wild

AGU Publications: Arctic ice management

BBC: How a giant space umbrella could stop global warming