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Even if the country immediately suspends air-conditioning that drives climate change and warms the water under the ice, it will do nothing to strengthen and rehabilitate Thwaites’ critical environment, he says. John Moore, a glaciologist and professor at the Arctic Center at the University of Lapland in Finland.
“So the only way to prevent it from collapsing … is to establish a body of ice,” he says.
This will require what is described separately as the immediate protection, a major change, or glacier geoengineering.
Moore and others have developed a number of ways in which people can intervene to save ice. Some of these issues include building equipment cables using polar megaprojects, or installing other environmentally friendly materials to restore existing ones. The main idea is that the limited engineering efforts that cause the problem can significantly reduce the property damage and flooding that particularly every coastal city and low-island country will face, as well as the cost of replacement work that needs to be reduced.
If it works, it can store ice cubes for a number of years, buying air-conditioning and climate stability, researchers say.
But there will be serious operational, engineering, legal, and financial challenges. And it is not yet clear how effective this intervention would be, or whether it would be possible for some of the world’s largest ice sheets to be lost.
Directing warm water
Mu notes and papers published in 2018, Moore, Michael Wolovick of Princeton, and others set out to preserve the complex ice sheet, including the Thwaites, through major global moving projects. This may involve sending or digging large amounts of material to create berms or artificial islands around or under the ice. The design can consist of ice and ice, blocking warm, seawater that melts from the ground, or both.
Soon, they are researchers affiliates with the University of British Columbia explored the technical concept: making what they called “curtains tied to the sea. ” These can be flexible sheets, made from geotextile materials, which can block and regulate warm water.
The hope is that these ideas may be cheaper than the original, and that the chains will be able to withstand the ice and can be removed if there are any negative consequences. The researchers traced the use of these buildings around three glaciers in Greenland, as well as the Thwaites and nearby Pine Island.