Plan para volver a congelar el Ártico infographic
El gráfico muesta cómo podría engrosarse la capa de hielo del Ártico.


Cómo se volvería a congelar el Ártico usando la ciencia

By Ninian Carter

January 14, 2024 - Un equipo de científicos viaja al Ártico para probar si elbombeo de agua de mar sobre el hielo, para hacerlo más grueso y duradero, puede combatir su pérdida anual

Inspired by the traditional Dutch technique of ice thickening to create natural ice skating rinks, an international team of scientists is heading to the high Artic to conduct an experiment to see if they can refreeze sea ice.

As global warming intensifies, so too does the reduction in the extent of Arctic ice – now millions of square kilometres smaller today than it was a few decades ago.

In a catch-22 situation, this in turn speeds up global warming as the less white ice there is, the less of the sun’s energy Earth can reflect away.

The team is comprised of two groups of scientists called Real Ice and Arctic Reflections, who are sending a crew to Cambridge Bay, in Canada’s Nunavut territory, on January 14.

Once set-up, the team will drill a hole in the ice and install a hydrogen-powered pump to flood seawater onto the top of the ice sheet – the idea being that the flooded water will freeze during the rest of the Arctic winter to create more ice and accelerate the natural freezing process underneath the ice.

The experiment will last about ten days, with the researchers flooding an area tens of metres in radius. Over the following weeks, local volunteers will take measurements of the ice’s thickness and, if it goes according to plan, the ice will become a metre thicker and will be robust enough to survive the summer.

One hypothesis suggests that installing pumps across 10% of the Arctic could reverse present trends of ice loss – but it would require 10 million pumps powered by wind turbines or hydrogen fuel cells.

PUBLISHED: 09/01/2024; STORY: Graphic News; PICTURES: Getty Images