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Scientists are scrambling to find ways to refreeze the Arctic

Published Jun 11th, 2024 8:38PM EDT
arctic ocean slate
Image: Joshua / Adobe

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We’ve seen a lot of crazy ideas to try to reverse climate change, including some proposals to send bubbles to space or even to set up a massive space parasol that could help shield Earth from the powerful solar rays of the Sun. Now, a new video from The Wall Street Journal is highlighting some of the other ways researchers are trying to refreeze the Arctic.

There are, of course, several ways scientists want to geoengineer the Arctic and help keep the environment there from falling prey to the growing climate change issues. One of the main goals is to reflect sunlight from the Arctic, thus helping to keep the ice there from warming anymore, allowing it to remain frozen.

One of the primary ways that a Dutch startup called Arctic Reflections is using to try to thicken up the ice surface is by creating a “heat shield” made with other ice. The hope is that this will allow the Arctic ice to refreeze beneath, while the top level thickens even more in winter. To make this happen, the startup is pumping seawater on top of “strategically chosen locations.”

The researchers involved with the startup hope that the seawater will freeze on top of the Arctic ice and act as the aforementioned heat shield. It’s a method derived from the way that ice masters flood fields to create ice rinks in certain countries. If it works, it could create a more natural heat shield that doesn’t rely on dangerous chemicals to help lower the temperature of the Arctic surface.

It won’t stop the thawing of the Arctic forever, of course. And hopes of being able to refreeze the Arctic completely are definitely out there. But, it could maybe buy us some more time until we’re able to lower the carbon emissions in other places, thus helping to lower the global temperature—or at the least keep it from getting any higher.

Josh Hawkins has been writing for over a decade, covering science, gaming, and tech culture. He also is a top-rated product reviewer with experience in extensively researched product comparisons, headphones, and gaming devices.

Whenever he isn’t busy writing about tech or gadgets, he can usually be found enjoying a new world in a video game, or tinkering with something on his computer.