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Radical idea could restore ice in the Arctic Ocean

It’s not rocket science, just a lot of windmills and pumps

By
10:00am, May 2, 2017
Melting sea ice in Barrow, Alaska

GOING, GOING… Warmer conditions in the Arctic are melting sea ice (as seen here near Barrow, Alaska). Now is the time to develop ways to save the ice, a scientist argues.

Leave it to a researcher who studies icy moons in the outer solar system to come up with an out-there scheme to restore vanishing sea ice in the Arctic.

Ice is a good insulator, says Steven Desch, a planetary scientist at Arizona State University in Tempe. That’s why moons such as Jupiter’s Europa and Saturn’s Enceladus, among others, may be able to maintain liquid oceans beneath their thick icy surfaces. On Earth, sea ice is much thinner, but the physics is the same. Ice grows on the bottom surface of floating floes. As the water freezes, it releases heat that must make its way up through the ice before escaping into the air. The thicker the ice, the more heat gets trapped, which slows down ice formation. That’s bad news for the Arctic, where ice helps keep the planet cool but global warming is causing

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