Naked Science Forum

Life Sciences => The Environment => Topic started by: ConfusedHermit on 05/10/2012 11:03:17

Title: How crazy is this idea concerning sea level?
Post by: ConfusedHermit on 05/10/2012 11:03:17
I understand seal level is only one problem involved in the vicious cycle of climate change, but I wondered how implausible this random idea is:

What if we sent fleets of energy-efficient remote-piloted vessels designed to go to all the world's ice caps, suck in the water beneath them, and spray it out onto the ice caps at colder temperatures? Wouldn't that (SLOWLY) lower the sea level and reconstruct the melting ice caps?

And what if we had similar vessels going out and desalinizing ocean water like crazy as well? So we could have a less harmful sea level and more usable water for ourselves.

Now attack the crazy hermit with science! :{D~
Title: Re: How crazy is this idea concerning sea level?
Post by: damocles on 06/10/2012 03:28:01
Ice that is floating on water does not affect sea level (Archimedes' principle). The ice caps that are relevant to sea level are the large ice caps of Greenland and Antarctica, which are supported by land -- land with high elevation in the latter case. Sea level is also affected, though to a lesser extent, by melting glaciers all around the world.

So, to be effective, your water, collected from somewhere else, would need to be sprayed some distance inland. A fleet of boats could not do it. And it is hard to see how, with our current technology, any engineering on this scale could be carried out without adding enormously to the atmospheric CO2 burden, which is what is causing the problem in the first place.

But keep thinking outside the square, ConfusedHermit. What the world really needs in my view is people with the patience, discipline, and understanding to obtain a deep appreciation of our present scientific knowledge, but the imagination not to get bogged down with it and to come up with some eccentric ideas.