Updated: Sep 13, 2020
Could sand spread on sea ice help keep the Arctic cool?
We know that world-wide temperatures are increasing, we know sea levels are rising and we know that the Ice is melting. But, what can we do about it…?
One remarkable idea, promoted by a non-profit group called Ice911, is to use a barrier of sand on the ice to reflect back the heating effects of the sun.
The sand would be spread from icebreakers, sprayed onto the ice in the spring. Tests so far show that the process works on lake ice and that the sand is safe for fish and birds. The sand would reflect more summer light, the way wearing a white shirt in the summer helps keep a person cool, according to the theory.
Practical questions include whether the application by icebreakers would lead to greater loss of ice and carbon emissions and whether winds would make an even dispersal of sand impossible.
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