We’ll take the glaciers
How to save Saudi Arabia, Cape Town, and Tenerife – some say ‘grazing’ glaciers
The volume of drinking water “trapped” in ice floes that are each year removed from the Antarctic is larger than the amount consumed at the planet’s level per year (and we do not even count Arctic ice). Pure fresh water, in the form of ice, this only dissolves and contributes to the rise of sea and ocean levels. That’s why, as early as the 19th century, thinkers, innovators and scientists came to the idea that glaciers are “dragging” into areas that suffer from drought (and which, more and more, are more and more), the BBC reports.
In the 19th century, glaciers were planned to be shipped to India and Chile, and for the forties John Isaacs suggested that the drought in California be solved by sinking glaciers. The same idea of the seventies had the ruler of Saudi Arabia. Eight years ago, the EU received a proposal (which was denied) that the glaciers would be drawn to the frozen Canary Islands.
But nothing has ever been realized. The latest in a series that are more and more seriously considered are Cape Town and the United Arab Emirates, two regions that suffer from extreme drought. Before Cape Town finally fell, it was terribly near to the fact that four million people were completely left with no drops of drinking water. The use is limited to 50 liters per person, and the desalination plants are starting to build up frantically. Emirates, however, are rapidly seeking a solution to the constant lack of water.
The latest are technological proposals like a movie, and they include a number of innovators and scientists who have been dealing with this topic in the 1970s. It includes some of the greatest names of glaciology, such as Peter Wadhams, Olivia Orhei, and Georges Mougin.
It’s a team that the seventy Saudi princes Faisal offered a lot of money to solve the problem. Many have convinced, even more so, how these are very realistic plans – if you stay in cold water, not so south as the Arab peninsula.
When the troika of 2010 came together again, they were shocked because
otherwise in science when you do not work for 40 years is probably no longer relevant because science has progressed, but here we are, we are where we are,
In 2010, Mougin developed a matrix with the help of 3D scanning, satellite use and weather forecasts to truly “deliver” a glacier of seven million tons from Newfoundland to Tenerife.
A huge vessel is used, with about 6,000 horses, much stronger than what was available to us in the ’80s. Of particular importance is the geo-textile blanket (or “skirt”, as it is called), which would cover all 3 kilometers of glaciers in order to slow down the dissolution. The same material is used in the Alps to prevent snow melting in ski resorts.
The model showed that “delivery” would last 141 days (an average speed of 1.5 kilometers per hour) with the consumption of 4,000 tons of fuel. The glacier itself would have “diminished” from seven million tons to four million, which is still a huge amount of water.
“It turned out that the whole thing is very cheap and acceptable for the environment. At this point, the Canary Islands is dependent on desalination, which “strives” enormous amounts of energy, and has by-products that are discharged into water and pollute the environment, “says Wadhams, but the EU refused them when they came to seek financial assistance. It’s too big a risk and nobody wants to put your signature on something that can be a spectacular fiasco.
But UAE are interested, and especially Abu Dhabi, a city that is ecologically friendly, smart solutions and a “hub” for new ideas. Everything is pushed by Abdulla Alshehi, the author of the book describing how to turn the Arabian desert into fertile meadows by making a 500-kilometer long pipeline to deliver drinking water from the Dasht River in Pakistan.
He is absolutely convinced that the project has a chance of success. It plans to reach the eastern coast of the Emirate with 40 million tonnes of big glaciers, five times as high as the one discussed for Tenerife. Although everything will be financed from private sources, the “blessing” of the country still needs to be done, and before that, a “pilot project” needs to be done. At the end of 2019, it is announced that they are starting to fly to Australia.
It should be said that experts are not optimistic.
I do not see a scenario where, in spite of technology, it can get closer or cross the equator. I think that’s very unrealistic,
What may even be accomplished is a tug at Cape Town. Mougin and Orheim joined the team led by Captain Nick Sloane, from the Resolve Marine engineering company. He is an expert in pulling out, so he worked on the Costa Concordia wreck 2014. He is convinced that he can reach the glacier to the South African city so that in the future, the pipes from the melting glaciers will lead the water to the reservoir and fill them in this way. They even offered to take over the costs of the entire action, and the payment was “on receipt” only if everything went according to plan.
They plan to start everything in 2019.
In addition, it should be noted that for a long time there are companies and infrastructure used to “drag” the glaciers, which, say, threaten oil platforms. Experts led by such companies, such as C-Core and Atlantic Towing, argue that the word “unrealistic” does not even describe the plan of Sloane and the team. Among other things, spokeswoman C-Core Deirdre Greene-Lono says, “this is an incredible amount of pollution,” the impression “is huge, from invested energy and energy to the release of greenhouse gases in the process of dissolution.”
He points out that the longest “tug” has so far lasted for 24 hours and demanded incredible logistics. Atlantic Towing, however, says its maximum is four days and it required a stable load (which depends on the structure of the glacier), and tons and tons of fuel.
I absolutely stand that this is a loss of money and a huge burden on the environment. Even if we ignore technological obstacles, environmental consequences, and thermodynamic (unsolvable) problems remains the question of who, and why, would pay for that fuel and infrastructure that must be built on glaciers once they (and if) reach the target, “says Steve Bruneau of the University of Newfoundland.
But Atlantic Towing and C-Core agree that it is easier to “tie” the tabular glaciers from Antarctica, but unstable glaciers from the Arctic.
Wadhams and Orheim insist that “the glacier to Southwest Africa is really not very far away, and since there are cold currents there, the ice structure needs to be a little” buzz “. But they admit that the amount of resources needed is so great.
Annually 140,000 glaciers, or 2,000 billion tons of ice, leave the Antarctic. It’s an inexhaustible source, and it’s melting in the oceans. What we have to do is tie them up a bit more north, “Orheim says, who agrees with Nick Sloane and says” it’s hardest to take the first step, but it’s time to go.
(TBT / NYT)