The both a detailed analysis of the
The Ice Caps and their Impact on Life on EarthMIT Educational Studies Program Junction 2017By: Sebastian Rodriguez-Naborre2AbstractThis paper presents both a detailed analysis of the current deteriorating condition of the Articregion in terms of its probable disappearance, and two possible refreezing solutions that couldprevent and delay further melting due to impending increments in the Earth’s temperature. Themelting and eventual disappearance of the Arctic region would be devastating to the climatepatters and to life on Earth. Also, sea levels would rise drastically, thereby causing many partsof the world to be submergence under water. The Arctic plays one of the most vital balancingroles in the Earth’s climate system by stabilizing ocean circulation patterns, which drive theweather system.
Extensive research on the Artic indicate that legitimate scientific sources agreewith the fact that new technology must be developed and installed to avert the impact of theArctic’s melting on the Earth’s climate system.This paper proposes two policy frameworks to save the Arctic region, scientific andregulatory, given that there no well-conceptualized policies inexistence to-date. Suchframeworks would guide the process of refreezing the arctic region using appropriate pumptechnology, and highlight the required monitoring and governance protocols. An analysis of theglobal financial feasibility of pursuing freezing technologies to protect the Arctic is alsodiscussed.3I. INTRODUCTIONOver the past several years, a drastic decrease of the geographic area covered by theArctic region has been observed. Since, 1979, the Arctic sea ice has decreased by 60%.
Currently, the the remaining sea ice is diminishing at a rate of 13.3% per decade. Unfortunately,the full elimination of greenhouse emissions will not be enough to prevent the completedisappearance of the summer Arctic sea ice by the year 2030. 1 This is extremely detrimental tothose countries and regions that are on the verge of being submerged under water, which wouldresult in mass migration and large numbers of refugees. If efforts to develop and implementtechnologies that could cease or slow down the melting process are not pursued, the outcomecould be irreversible.Illustrative arguments to support the above include a recent (July 31, 2017) WashingtonPost article based on two new studies 2 3 conducted by Nature Climate Change, which states thatthere is possibly a 5% chance of avoiding ‘dangerous’ warming. Said article includes assertionsby Christina Figueres, the former head of the United Nations’ Framework Convention onClimate Change to the fact that there are only three years left to further decrease carbonemissions before it is too late for the elimination of carbon emissions to make any difference.Furthermore, the article argues that median warming is likely to be 3.
2 degrees Celsius, and that1 Zdanowicz, Christina. “Could Giant Machines Refreeze the Arctic?” CNN, Cable News Network, 15 Feb. 2017,www.
cnn.com/2017/02/15/weather/refreezing-arctic- ice-study- trnd/. The Arctic’s role in the climate.
The mainfocus, and the most feasible option to refreeze the Arctic region.2 Raftery, Adrian E., et al.
“Less than 2?°C Warming by 2100 Unlikely.” Nature Climate Change, 31 July 2017,www.nature.com/nclimate/journal/vaop/ncurrent/full/nclimate3352.html?foxtrotcallback=true.
First Study of thewarming by 2100.3 Mooney, Chris. “We Only Have a 5 Percent Chance of Avoiding 'Dangerous' Global Warming, a Study Finds.” TheWashington Post, WP Company, 31 July 2017, www.washingtonpost.com/news/energy-environment/wp/2017/07/31/we-only- have-a- 5-percent- chance-of- avoiding-dangerous- global-warming- a-study-finds/?utm_term=.08838557d07e. 4there is only a 5% chance that it can be decreased to below 1.
5 degrees Celsius by reducingcarbon emissions. On the other hand, the article includes arguments by Glen Peters, a climatepolicy expert at the Center for International Climate Research to the fact that there is a smallchance of holding global warming to 2 degrees Celsius, unless “negative emissions”technologies that withdraw carbon dioxide from the atmosphere are developed. 4II. MELTING OF THE ARTICCurrently, the global sea level is rising at an average of 3.2 millimeters per year, and it isexpected to increase to 0.2 and 2 meters by 2100.
Both the melting of the Arctic and GreenlandIce Sheets pose the most detrimental risk of further rising sea levels because the total area ofGreenland and the Arctic combined is 2.6 million cubic kilometers. 5 The melting of the icesheets would result in a drastic sea level rising.
Therefore, the accumulation of more water in theocean in the warmer climate will lead to more heat absorption by the ocean.The Arctic plays one of the most important roles in the global climate system. Its declinecan alter global ocean circulation patterns.
Seawater travels through the Atlantic Ocean as partof the Global Ocean Conveyor, the circulation pattern that controls the movement of seawaterthrough the world’s oceans. These patterns are vital because the different climate regions areextremely dependent on them. The Global Ocean Conveyor is able to circulate due to4 Mauritsen, Thorsten, and Robert Pincus.
“Committed Warming Inferred from Observations.” Nature ClimateChange, Nature Climate Change, 31 July 2017,www.nature.com/nclimate/journal/vaop/ncurrent/full/nclimate3357.html. Study of committed warming by the globalcommunity.5 The Climate in the Arctic Has Impact Worldwide.
” Norwegian Polar Institute, Norwegian Polar Institute,www.npolar.no/en/themes/climate/climate-change/global- climate-change/the- climate-in- the-arctic- has-impact-worldwide.
html. Short description of the Arctic's vital role in the Earth's climate.5differences in water density, which are generated by differences in temperature. There is atemperature difference between the warmer equator and the colder Arctic, which drives weatherpatterns on Earth during the fall and winter seasons, and is practically the cornerstone of theEarth’s climate. Warm water that resides near the equator moves at the surface of the ocean intohigh latitudes, where it decreases in temperature. As temperature decreases, water becomesheavier and sinks to the depths of the ocean.
The Arctic’s melting, which is occurring faster thanstudies show, makes sea water at high latitudes less dense. As a result, the amount of cold watersinking decreases and will not circulate through the ocean, thus the melting is delaying thisprocess, affecting weather patterns as well. Alas, the temperature difference is lessened. Thisdifference is significant because as it decreases, the number of extreme snowfalls, storms,droughts, and heat waves will dramatically and detrimentally proliferate. 6III. TECHNOLOGICAL SOLUTION TO REFREZE THE ARTIC REGIONRefreezing technologies could possibly reverse the impact of Climate Change/GlobalWarming. A refreezing methodology which implied the injection of aerosol particles into theatmosphere was rejected by the UN due to its possible contributions to further melting the icesheets or to a global drought.
Therefore, this paper center on another refreezing solution whichinvolves the building and placing 10 million wind-powered pumps in the Arctic region, whichwould cover 10% of the Arctic region. 7 Currently, this idea is theoretical yet feasible. 8 Its6 “The Climate in the Arctic Has Impact Worldwide.” Norwegian Polar Institute, Norwegian Polar Institute,www.npolar.no/en/themes/climate/climate-change/global- climate-change/the- climate-in- the-arctic- has-impact-worldwide.
html. Short description of the Arctic's vital role in the Earth's climate. 7 Zdanowicz, Christina. “Could Giant Machines Refreeze the Arctic?” CNN, Cable News Network, 15 Feb. 2017,www.cnn.com/2017/02/15/weather/refreezing-arctic- ice-study- trnd/.
The Arctic’s role in the climate. The mainfocus, and the most feasible option to refreeze the Arctic region.6implementation would depend on a set of suitable scientific and international regulatory policyframeworks. The scientific policy framework would highlight the implementation of therefreezing of the Artic region. The regulatory policy would guide the preservation, maintenanceand improvements, as needed, and would be model after international conventions for theEnvironment such as the Kyoto Protocol (Adaptation to Climate Change) and the United NationsFramework Convention on Climate Change. Both policy proposals would entail the comingtogether of the international community of nations to commit to such a process, as well as togather the financial resources to carry them through.
Scientific PolicyThe Arctic Ice Cap: Refreezing SolutionsOver the past several years, a drastic decrease of the Arctic ice caps has been observed;The Arctic’s climate system is one of Earth’s most important, if not, the most. The presence ofthe Arctic climate system stabilizes and balances ocean circulation patterns, as well as beingdepended on by the different climate regions around the world. Therefore, as it diminishes, theEarth’s climate system becomes more unstable, resulting in an increase of extreme snowfalls,droughts, storms, and heat waves. The most detrimental outcome of the melting process is risingsea levels. This paper proposes to refreeze the Arctic using two possible methods:1.
Injecting aerosol particles into the atmosphere.2. Redirecting the water beneath the ice and dispersing it onto the surface of the ice.
8 Crew, Bec. “Scientists Have Announced a Plan to 'Refreeze' The Arctic – And It's Wild.”ScienceAlert, BECCREW, 15 Feb. 2017, www.sciencealert.com/scientists-have- announced-a- plan-to- refreeze-the- arctic-and- it-s- wild.7The injection of particles in the atmosphere would consist of a few wind-powered jetengines. Unfortunately, the UN rejected this idea due to its possible repercussions of furthermelting of the ice sheets or creating a global drought.
9The second method is feasible, yet it is still a theory. It would entail placing 10 millionwind-powered turbine pumps to cover 10% of the Arctic region. If the entire Arctic region wereto be covered, 100 million pumps would have to be built. Presently, this proposal would costapproximately $500B. Since the Arctic is melting faster than studies show, we could witness thecomplete disappearance of the Arctic summer sea ice by the year 2030.
The completeelimination of CO2 emissions is not sufficient to prevent this outcome.The pumps would be built with a wind-turbine. The basic elements of the pump wouldinclude: a large buoy, a wind turbine with blades (6 meters/19 meters in diameter), a tank forstoring water, and a delivery system that would take the water from the tank and disperse it intolarge areas of the ice surface. The pumps would have to be manufactured and delivered to theArctic region, and repositioned annually. The challenges of this being applied to the raspingenvironment of the Arctic are intimidating. Gusts may accelerate wind speeds, which couldreduce the efficiency of the pumps by interfering in the delivery system. It would also bedifficult to prevent the water in the tank from freezing.
Moreover, its implementation wouldneed half of the current worldwide container shipping capacity. On the other hand, it isnecessary to determine how long this process would take. An estimate, based on research, points9 Gayle, Damien. “Could We Refreeze the Arctic? Scientists Suggest Radical Solution to Global Warming.” DailyMail Online, Associated Newspapers, 11 Dec. 2012, www.dailymail.co.
uk/sciencetech/article-2246556/Could-refreeze-Arctic- Scientists-suggest- radical-solution- global-warming.html.8to roughly 10 years. Fortunately, the construction of the pumps will not be more complex thanthat of an automobile. Building one pump would require about 4,000kg of steel (8,818 pounds),and a floating buoy.
This scenario would be possible given that the U.S. already produces 80million tons of steel a year, and the world steel production amounts to about 1.6 billion tons. 10Pump coverage of 10% of the Arctic region would be sufficient to sustain the Artic system; tothis end, 1 million pumps would be built and shipped to the Artic region per year, for ten years.A downside of this technology is related to steel production; every new ton of steel productionwould result in 1.
8 tons of CO2 emissions; therefore, the construction of 10 million pumpswould release 0.18 Giga tons of CO2 annually. Of note is that the worldwide steel productionresults in 36 Giga tons of released CS2 per year. 11The possible outcome of the refreezing process with steel pumps is that thicker ice in theArctic during the summer, would change current weather patterns, and I fact, counteract thepresent, deteriorating conditions. The sea ice in the artic has melted and currently shows at adiminished thickness of 1.5m; therefore, adding one meter of ice through the refreezing processwould result in a substantial balancing effect. Furthermore, the expected increments in the airtemperature — by 1 degree Celsius — in the Arctic region would be counteracted as well.
12Regulatory Policy10 Crew, Bec. “Scientists Have Announced a Plan to 'Refreeze' The Arctic – And It's Wild.”ScienceAlert, BECCREW, 15 Feb. 2017, www.sciencealert.com/scientists-have- announced-a- plan-to- refreeze-the- arctic-and- it-s- wild.11 Desch, Steven J., et al.
“Arctic Ice Management.” Earth&Apos;s Future, Wiley Periodicals, Inc., 24 Jan. 2017,onlinelibrary.wiley.
com/doi/10.1002/2016EF000410/full.12 Desch, Steven J., et al. “Arctic Ice Management.
” Earth&Apos;s Future, Wiley Periodicals, Inc., 24 Jan. 2017,onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/2016EF000410/full.9This policy supports and complements the scientific policy proposed above by setting upthe premises to preserve, continue and improve the refreezing process, as well as the drawing oflessons learned.
The hereby proposed laws and regulations require the reduction of petroleum-based vehicle usage, development of sustainable waste management processes, and theacceleration of the transition to renewable energy sources. Said proposal also consider ways inwhich the refreezing process can be monitored and how the global community come together topreserve the outcome the refreezing process.Proposed Regulatory Framework? The success of the refreezing proposal and the health of the Arctic region would depend onreductions of the global consumption of carbon and petroleum by 30% to 50%; individualcountry reductions would be determined by the extent of their impact on climate change.
? Coal and oil industries must transition to renewable energy production, and must re-traintheir employees in sustainable energy production.? Industrialized countries should contribute with the technical and financial resources toassist developing countries in the process of transitioning to renewable energy use.? An international governing and monitoring organization would be established to focus onpreserving the refreezing process, observing the resulting impacts on the Arctic, suggestingtechnological adjustments as needed, and managing the financial resources needed for itsimplementation and sustainability.10? Participating countries, international organizations, and academic and scientific institutionsare to provide — proportional to their academic endowment — the capital resources neededto implement and maintain the refreezing process in Arctic region.? Being the refreezing proposal an international effort, participatory budgeting would beuseful tool to manage the resources required and to prevent negative economicconsequences or fiscal imbalances at the level of each individual country.Concluding, the design and establishment of international regulatory policies and of agoverning body around the refreezing process of the Arctic is required in order to protect itssuccessful outcomes, implement required technological adjustments, and to ensure the prudentfinancial management of the required resources.Counter arguments to the proposed refreezing processThe research shows scientific opinions which counter the proposed refreezing process.For instance, Julienne Stroeve, a senior scientist at the National Snow and Ice Data Center 13refutes the success of the refreezing proposal by stating that "Global warming in response torising CO2 concentrations would continue despite efforts to grow ice in the Arctic," Further, sheargues "Thus, the excess heat at lower latitudes would still be transported towards the Arctic viaatmospheric and oceanic circulation and this would counter efforts to grow ice in the Arctic".
14Is funding of the proposed refreezing technology possible?13 Mantha, Moitreyi. “Can Giant Pumps Help Refreeze The Arctic?” DOGOnews, Dog News, 6 Mar. 2017,www.
dogonews.com/2017/2/26/can-giant- pumps-help- refreeze-the- arctic.14 Zdanowicz, Christina. “Could Giant Machines Refreeze the Arctic?” CNN, Cable News Network, 15 Feb. 2017,www.cnn.
com/2017/02/15/weather/refreezing-arctic- ice-study- trnd/. The Arctic’s role in the climate. The mainfocus, and the most feasible option to refreeze the Arctic region.11Data on the GDP of the Arctic States (Canada, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway,Russia, Sweden, and The United States) and of the G20 member countries (Argentina, Australia,Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Republic of Korea,Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Turkey, United Kingdom, the United States, and theE.
U.), and on the total military spending of the 30 countries known to have very powerfulmilitaries forces, would help in understanding how international investment efforts to refreezethe arctic region would affect the global economy. 15? Arctic States total GDP: 22.
8287 Trillion USD? G20 Member Nations Total GDP: 77.7381 Trillion USDMilitary Spending (30 nations): 1500.4 Billion USD (1.5004 Trillion USD) 16? Top 5:1. United States: 597.5 Billion USD2.
China: 145.8 Billion USD3. Saudi Arabia: 81.9 Billion USD4. Russia: 65.6 Billion USD5. United Kingdom: 56.
2 Billion USD? Total: 102.0672 Trillion USD? 500B USD is 0.0000049% of the total above.15 “List of Countries by Projected GDP.” List of Countries by Projected GDP 2017 – StatisticsTimes.com,International Monetary Fund, 23 Apr. 2017, statisticstimes.
com/economy/countries-by- projected-gdp.php.16 “List of Countries by Military Expenditures.
” Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, 9 Aug. 2017,en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_military_expenditures.12 The above depicted figures demonstrate that investing in refreezing the Arctic region isfinancially feasible via international cooperation and collaboration in terms of capital andtechnology.
The countries, institutions, and organizations that would likely drive this processare: the Arctic States, Non-Arctic States, the UN, the Green Climate Fund, GreenpeaceInternational, NASA, MIT, the Global Environment Facility, the World Bank, the World ClimateResearch Program, BP, and ExxonMobil. Entities, such as NASA, MIT, BP, the World Bank,and ExxonMobil. If others decide to join this effort, they would be allowed to if they fullycommit and abide to the scientific process, provide the needed capital resources, and complywith the regulatory framework proposed in this paper.13Bibliography”The Climate in the Arctic Has Impact Worldwide.
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