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Researchers Say a Man-Made Snow Storm on Antarctica Could Halt Rising Sea Levels

Sustainability News National Parks
by Eben Diskin Jul 19, 2019

Scientists have proposed a radical-sounding solution to halt the collapse of the west Antarctic ice sheet and rising sea levels. After speculation in the scientific community that the loss of ice in the Antarctic region could no longer be stopped by emission cuts — with oceans rising by 10 feet in the coming centuries — more extreme and creative ways are being devised to combat the effects of the climate crisis. Professor Anders Levermann, of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research in Germany, believes that spraying trillions of tons of snow over west Antarctica could prevent the collapse of its ice sheet.

“As scientists,” he said in a press release, “we feel it is our duty to inform society about every potential option to counter the problems ahead. As unbelievable as [the proposal] might seem, in order to prevent an unprecedented risk, humankind might have to make an unprecedented effort.”

Published in the journal Science Advances, the research advocates pumping 7.4 trillion tons of ocean water and then spraying it as snow onto the glaciers to achieve a stabilization effect. 12,000 wind turbines would also be used to power the project. The project would require at least 90 pumps, which could each cost over $600 million, explained The Guardian.

Although the project seems absurd, costly, and disastrous for a unique natural reserve, this is the type of length humanity may have to go to if we want to save coastal cities like New York, Tokyo, and Shanghai.

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