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Thousands Of Barges Could Save Europe From Deep Freeze
It is ironic that one consequence of global warming is that Europe might plunge into a deep freeze. This possibility stimulated an unusual research project at the University of Alberta. Dr. Peter Flynn, the Poole Chair in Management for Engineers in the U of A Department of Mechanical Engineering, has studied whether down-welling ocean currents can carry more dissolved carbon into the deep ocean...
Flynn and a graduate student evaluated seven different methods to enhance down-welling currents. They found one way was far more cost effective than the others: making thicker sea ice by pumping salty ocean water on top of ice sheets.
They envisioned more than 8,000 barges moving into the northern ocean in the fall, speeding the initial formation of sea ice by pumping a spray of water into the air, and then, once the ice is formed, pumping ocean water on top of it, trapping the salt in the ice and reaching a thickness of seven meters.
In the spring, water would continue to be pumped over the ice to melt it, forming a vast amount of cold, salty water that sinks and adds to the down-welling current to re-strengthen it.
The estimated cost is about $50 billion.