Could This Submarine Really Re-Freeze Icebergs in the Arctic?
By now we’re all probably aware that the planet is almost irrevocably damaged and we need to do our bit to repair it. But while recycling and cutting down our carbon footprint get all the headlines, there are some rather radical ideas about we can help out there. One such idea is a submarine which re-freezes sea water in the Artic to combat rising sea levels.
Addressing one of global warming’s biggest consequences, a team of designers organised by the Association of Siamese Architects and led by Indonesian designer Faris Rajak Kotahatuhaha proposes a submarine-like vessel which would re-freeze melted sea water in the Arctic to create miniature modular icebergs.
Labelled a “re-iceberg-isation” device, the proposed vessel would collect sea water in a central hexagonal tank. Turbines would then be used to blast the tank with cold air and accelerate the freezing process. During this process, the vessel would float to the surface of the sea and the tank would be covered to protect it from sunlight.
The process then relies on reverse osmosis whereby some of the salt from the water would be filtered in order to speed up the process. Once the water is frozen, the vessel would once again submerge, leaving behind an ‘ice baby’ with a volume of 2,027 cubic-metres. These mini icebergs would then cluster together to form a larger ice floe.
The idea is that multiple vessels could be used to continuously repeat the process and gradually rebuild the ice caps. The vessels could also be used for research and even underwater hotels, according to the designers.
A working prototype is years off and the concept is certainly out there – not to mention the science is questionable according to many – but who knows? Maybe we’ll some have to refreeze ice to save the planet!
Last year, our favourite architecture firm on the planet, Snøhetta unveiled renderings for the staggering Svart Hotel. Floating at the foot of the Svartisen Glacier above the Arctic Circle in Norway, Svart will be able to generate more renewable energy than it will use.