Arctic sea ice grows during the winter and melts in the summer making its peak around early March and its lowest point around September. Typically, the ice that survives the melting in summer is thicker which improves the chances of it surviving future summers. However, since the 80s, there has been a drastic reduction in the quantity of this perennial ice as a result of climate change.
A lot of changes are being made to facilitate the development of eco-friendly automobiles, the search for alternative energy sources, and building of infrastructure to promote sustainability. Recently, a group of scientists is on a mission to raise an additional $500 billion to the climate change piggy bank.
The money will go towards building 10 million wind-powered pumps that pump water from below the ice to the surface where it will hopefully refreeze the Arctic. Hypothetically, the pumped water would freeze which will add to the thickness of the ice.
Scientists believe that for the theory to work, they will have to deploy the wind-powered pumps across 10% of the region and this will require 100 million tons of steel for the wind-powered pump in the next decade. In doing so, they’d hopefully restore the ice close to what it was 15 years ago.
The scientific community is making considerable efforts to develop new innovative solutions to the Arctic crisis as they believe the 2015 Paris Agreement doesn’t do enough to remedy the crisis. Such proposals reflect the need for actionable initiatives that don’t rely solely on reducing emissions.
In an interview with The Guardian, Steven Desch stated that to stop the disappearance of ice in the Arctic more tangible solutions are needed instead of just reducing fossil fuel emissions.
Even though the idea is noteworthy, there is still a lot of doubt surrounding the viability of the plan.
According to Julienne Stroeve, the National Snow and Ice Data Center’s senior scientist, global warming as a consequence of rising carbon emission would still continue despite efforts to increase ice in the Arctic. Furthermore, through oceanic and atmospheric circulation, excess heat found at lower latitudes would still be ferried towards the Arctic which would counteract efforts of growing ice.
With that said, if nothing is done, then the Arctic will severely rattle its ecosystem which will eventually lead to the endangerment of a variety of species in the region. Additionally, it will bring about increased warming across the planet.
In essence, the ice in the Arctic is used to mirror solar radiation that penetrates the earth’s atmosphere back into space. Case in point, without the Arctic’s ice, our planet will begin experiencing even more erratic weather behavior especially in the Northern Hemisphere.
Moreover, more carbon will still be released into the atmosphere as a consequence of the permafrost melting. It is still unclear whether this plan will be a feasible solution to the crisis in the Arctic. However, we will better off finding some solution sooner rather than later.
If recent studies are anything to go by, then we need a solution to the world’s carbon emissions since the summer Arctic sea ice is projected to disappear by 2030 completely.