Indonesian designers are proposing a submarine-type contraption to be built over the arctic to mitigate the ongoing melting of the polar ice sheets.
The project coined “re-freeze the arctic: re-iceberg-isation hexagonal tubular ice arctic,” was an idea submitted during an international design competition initiated by the ASA (Association of Siamese Architects), which have been awarded as the 2nd prize winner.
In a video released by the designers, it detailed how the proposed submarine would be able to create polar ice sheets by re-freezing melted icy seawater.
The submarine is a large submersible machine that dips below the ocean surface as it collects seawater in its large hexagonal well. When the vessel surfaces, an onboard desalination system removes the salt from the water and a “giant freezing machine,” and chilly ambient temperatures freeze the freshwater to create the six-sided bergs. These float away when the vessel resubmerges and starts the process all over again.
Additionally, the submarine system is designed to be used in all weather conditions because of the unique bulb shape of the bottom part of the vessel.
The system, which is called an “upnormal freezer,” will rise back to the ocean along with the frozen piece of ice sheet once each month.
According to the designers, each piece will approximately measure 25 meters in diameter.
Overall, there would be a fleet of ice-making submarines scattered across a plane in the arctic, all of which producing one “ice baby” a month. Eventually, as the designers hope, would drift and create a larger ice sheet thanks to the hexagonal shape, Faris Rajak Kotahatuhaha, an architect in Jakarta and the leader of the project, said.
“Sea level rise due to melting ice should not only be responded with defensive solutions,” the designers said in the video. Furthermore, they indicated that the submarine design should be considered as a complement to ongoing efforts to curb emissions.
Kotahatuhaha is working together with Denny Lesm Ana Budi and Fiera Alifa.
The out-of-the-box ice-making submarine idea comes after multiple reports that climate change is largely affecting glaciers and icebergs at the polar ice caps.
Notably, climate experts warn that with the lack of action towards addressing climate change, global sea levels will rise due to the melting and may cause issues globally.
A study published in June this year predicts that if human greenhouse emissions continue to wreak havoc, by the end of this century ice loss from the Greenland ice sheet could see the ocean rise by up to 33cm.
If all of the Greenland ice sheets were to melt, global sea level would rise by more than 7 meters.
According to scientists, more than 10 billion tonnes of ice melted in 24 hours in Greenland have melted in just the span of a week last month.
With historically high temperatures of 22C, Denmark’s Meteorological Institute said the Greenland ice sheet ended July with a net mass loss of 197 Gigatonnes from the beginning of the month.
Similar to the coast of Alaska where researchers are calling ice-free. A century ago, this part of the Arctic was considered impenetrable due to the thick sea ice that developed in the region. Today, sailors can now freely sail the area.
The highest daily total of the melt season was registered on July 31st with 11 Gigatonnes of mass loss, which equals over 10 billion tonnes of ice melted in 24 hours. A significantly earlier date compared to 2017 statistics.
The rising temperature of the planet is causing more Arctic ice to melt during the northern summer and will inevitably continue to do so unless there’s a sharp change with rising temperatures.
Although the Indonesian idea of an ice-making submarine may show ideal for restoring the melted ice sheets, it does not prove to be a long-term solution. But they have noted that it was never meant to be one but only to complement efforts to bring down the warming climate.
Scientists say that it is not too late to act against the effects of climate change if an extensive global effort is made towards reducing carbon emissions.