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  • Scientists may have just figured out how to roll back climate change, the only catch?

  • It could cost as much as 5 trillion dollars and use more steel than the United States

  • produces in a year.

  • Hey there freezing fans, Jules here for Dnews!

  • 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 fear not!

  • Because according to a paper just published in the journal, Earth’s Future, scientists

  • may have an ingenious solution.

  • It involves ten million pumps.

  • The plan is torefreezeten 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 celcius

  • 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, quoteImplementation 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.

  • Of course, the plan isn’t easy, or economical.

  • Each wind turbine used to power the pump will need to be roughly 19 feet across, and use

  • roughly 22,000 pounds of steel.

  • The paper also states that ten million pumps would only really cover ten percent of the

  • Arctic Ocean’s roughly 4 million square mile size; to cover the entire area would

  • take 100 million pumps, and roughly 100 million tons of steel each year.

  • The US alone currently produces about 80 to 90 million tons of steel a year, so covering

  • just 10 percent of the Arctic ice would use around 13 percent of U.S. steel production.

  • The total cost would be 50 billion dollars per year, or 500 billion over 10 years -- and

  • again, that’s if you only cover 10 percent of the Arctic.

  • To cover the whole thing would be a whopping 5 trillion dollars.

  • But not all efforts to save the Arctic ice caps are so costly.

  • Another leading solution is called solar-radiation management, where sunlight is reflected away

  • from the ice, instead of being absorbed by it, leading to slower melting.

  • One method of doing this is to inject reflective aerosol particles, particularly chemicals

  • like sulfates, into the stratosphere.

  • In nature, volcanic eruptions scatter sulfate particles high into the air as part of an

  • ash cloud, and it has been observed that these particles reflect solar radiation back into

  • space and lead to cooling of the earth below it.

  • So if we could do this artificially, it could have the same effect.

  • In fact, a 2008 study found that if we could decrease the sunlight reaching the Arctic

  • area by about 21%, it would allow the ice to remain even if the amount of CO2 in the

  • air doubled.

  • But this solution leads to many other environmental concerns, such degradation of the ozone, which

  • sulfates are known to do.

  • It could also lead to a warming of the stratosphere, as the reflective particles would absorb some

  • of the heat and disperse it in the surrounding atmospheric air.

  • Both of these could ultimately lead to a worsening of climate change conditions.

  • And the aerosol in itself is air pollution, of the kind that leads to asthma and other

  • health problems.

  • Ultimately, there is no simple, elegant solution.

  • The paper itself admits that technology alone won’t solve our problems.

  • The world is still warming, the ice caps are melting, and the sea levels are rising.

  • Without the ice caps reflecting light away from earth, the ocean will absorb even more

  • solar radiation and heat, which could influence global warming.

  • Worse yet, the more ice is melted in the Arctic, the more methane, a greenhouse gas, will be

  • released into the atmosphere.

  • Currently that methane is trapped under the permafrost, and as that thaws, it could speed

  • up the effects of global warming.

  • While setting up 100 million pumps, or shooting sulfates into the sky may sound crazy, those

  • may not be as crazy as the alternatives.

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Scientists may have just figured out how to roll back climate change, the only catch?


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B1 中級

北極圏を再凍結させる科学者の狂気の計画 (Scientists' Crazy Plan To Refreeze The Arctic)

  • 97 6
    Ntiana に公開 2021 年 01 月 14 日