Wind-Powered Pumps Could Make Arctic Ice
Physicist Professor Steven Desch from Arizona State University has come up with an idea for combatting Arctic ice loss. He is proposing the installation of 10 million wind-powered pumps over the Arctic ice cap. In winter, these would be used to pump water to the surface of the ice where it would freeze, thickening the cap.
Desch came up with the idea after feeling unhappy that the only scientific solution anyone was proposing to combat climate change was to radically reduce CO2 emissions, a near impossibility in a world filled with people and their machines, he says.
“We can’t put the world back the way it was,” Desch said, “so how can we at least work on fixing part of the problem?”
Ice in the Arctic is melting faster in the summer and not building enough in the winter. This represents a strong positive feedback on climate because while ice reflects 90 percent of sunlight, the ocean absorbs 90 percent of sunlight, so the less ice there is, the more heat the planet absorbs. In addition, when Arctic permafrost ground melts, it releases methane, amplifying the greenhouse effect in the atmosphere just like CO2.