RE-FREEZING the Arctic is being proposed by designers who have revealed a bizarre iceberg-making vessel concept that sinks underwater to produce Lego blocks of frozen water.
The team behind the wacky design hopes that the ‘freezer’ ships would be able to create new ice fields that could help balance polar ecosystems and reduce the negative impacts of climate change.
The geoengineering proposal received the second prize in an Association of Siamese Architects international invention competition.
However, as it stands the proposal does remain just that and its feasibility has come into question.
The Arctic Ocean is rapidly losing ice, meaning the Arctic food chain is in grave danger as lots of animals depend on it to hunt, shelter and survive.
Team leader and Indonesian designer Faris Rajak Kotahatuhaha told Dezeen: “The main goal of this idea is to restore the polar ecosystem, which has a direct effect on the balance of the global climate.”
According to the proposed designs, the boats would work by sinking under the surface to collect 2,027 cubic meters of Arctic sea-water in a hexagon-shaped shaded tank.
Salt would then be removed from the water to make it easier to freeze.
Air turbines inside the vessel would then be used to freeze the water into a hexagon shape and once this has happened the ice block would be released back into the sea.
Kotahatuhaha has acknowledged that the idea won’t stop climate change or reduce emissions but a video of the concept implies it could prevent the further sea-level rise.
However, critics of the design are skeptical about this because for that to be possible the project would have to happen on an enormous scale.
Melting sea ice does not contribute to sea-level rise it is actually ice on land melting that is the main issue.
Atmospheric scientist Michael Mann told NBC News that the proposal was “like trying to save the sandcastle you built at the beach using a dixie cup as the tide comes in.”
Other doubters think that the vessels might actually produce heat during the process of freezing the icebergs.
It is currently unclear how the boats would be powered but it would have to be via renewable means or they would just be contributing to the problem.
What is an iceberg?
Here’s what you need to know…
- An iceberg is a large chunk of ice made from freshwater
- It has typically broken off from a glacier or an ice shelf
- The name is a loan translation from the Dutch ‘ijsberg’, which means ice mountain
- Icebergs are found floating freely in open salt-water
- Around 90% of an iceberg is below the surface, and therefore not visible
- That’s why they’re considered to be a major shipping hazard
- The most famous iceberg-at-sea incident was the 1912 loss of the “unsinkable” RMS Titanic, which capsized after hitting an iceberg
- The largest iceberg ever recorded is Iceberg B-15, which was calved from Antarctica’s Ross Ice Shelf in March 2000
- It measured 183 miles long, 23 miles wide, and had a surface area of 4,200 square miles – bigger than Jamaica
In other news, parts of Europe could disappear as Nasa warns Antarctica is melting 6 times faster than it was 40 years ago.
And experts think climate change could cause areas of the ocean to turn a “deep green” color by 2100.
Arctic heatwave causes 12billion tons of ice ‘to vanish in 24 hours’ – as Greenland endures rare 22C roasting.