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Can Arctic “Ice Management” Fight Climate Change

The decline of sea ice and global warming has been much discussed by using millions of ventilated pumps to create ice during the Arctic winter and by flowing into the sea ice.

AWI researchers have now tested the concept for the first time using a complex climate model and have published their findings in Earth Future Magazine.

Their verdict is logical: While this approach may delay the ice-free Arctic summer for decades beyond the Arctic, a massive campaign could produce no beneficial cooling effect.

While this may seem like a science fiction, it is a serious proposition in the fight against climate change: the million million air-pumps distributed throughout the Arctic are intended to encourage the creation of sea ice in the winter.

They were constantly pumping sea water over the ice surface, where it was frozen. The thick ice can now survive the melting of summer for a long time and thus reflects the sunlight for a longer period of time as the dark ocean can absorb the warm sunlight.

Not only can it slow the ice loss in the Arctic sea, but it can also reduce far-reaching effects, and possibly warming to lower latitudes.

American researchers first unveiled what the future of the world called “art ice management” in 2017, recently tested by a climate model developed by two experts at the Helmholtz Center of the Alfred Wagner Institute, Polar and Marine Research (AWI).

What they found: From a purely material point of view, the almost loss of summer sea ice, which probably arrived at the middle of the century with a “business as” view, was already traced back to the turn of the century. .

However, this grace period does not imply any significant cooling of the climate in Europe or around the world.

“We wanted to know if this manipulation of Arctic sea ice could work in a purely physical way and what impact it would have on the climate,” said environmental physicist and doctoral candidate for AWS Marine Ice Prediction Research Group. .

Accordingly, he modified the AWI climate model so that the resulting physical effect – to simulate continuous water pumping on the ice surface of the sea during the winter season.

Helgey Gessling, head of the research group, explained: “Ice growth is usually limited because of the thicker it gets, the more ice is separated from the winter months; this is why it usually wins.” Find a total thickness of more than a few meters.

However, the pumps get rid of this specific effect, as a new layer of ice is added from above. ”

Initial simulation based on pumps entering sea water into ice throughout the Arctic: year after year, the ice will acquire within one to two meters.

According to the climate model, global warming created by carbon dioxide will not stop this growth until the end of the century. What about the impact on the climate?

In fact, the Arctic summer warming will drop to a few degrees Celsius as expected as the original publication.

However, pumping relatively warm water (-1.8 ° C) will also alter the heat flux in winter, leading to a significant rise of the Arctic in winter.

This thermal energy will be transferred to the mid-latitude and stored in the ocean.

In the next step, the researchers performed more realistic simulations where the thickness of the ice was less than two meters where only the pump was placed.

“The ice, which is two meters thick, has the best chance of surviving the melting of the summer,” said Lorenzo Zamberi, thus limiting pump distribution and avoiding unnecessary and major warming in the winter. ”

In these situations, additional undesired warming of moderate latitudes can be avoided, but this plan will reduce climate change.

Even though summer Arctic temperatures will rise by about one degree Celsius, and sea ice damage may be delayed by about 60 years, the reflection of sunlight will not be enough to slow climate change outside the Arctic.

“Geology cannot be ignored as a mere nonsense of the climate research community in view of the unlimited progress of climate change,” claims Hal Gesling.

Instead, these concepts should be subject to scientific scrutiny. The authors agree that “Arctic Ice Management” is interesting in itself but it cannot significantly reduce global climate change, as science fiction certainly remains.

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