Carbon Dioxide and Coal Power
This project is so large I had to split it off and put it on its own page.
Yellowstone Geothermal Power Plants
There are a couple of reasons for this suggestion:
- Generate electrical power for the United States and Canada without using non-replaceable fossil fuels
- Generate electrical power with only heat and water, two presumably permanent resources
- Placing water down on the hot spots in the Yellowstone caldera would help reduce the pressure that's building there
- reduces likelihood of supervolcanic event
- Reduces seismic activity in the region
- Serves as a testing facility for a similar system in the Hawaiian Islands
- Frees petroleum that would be used for power generation for other purposes, like use as military fuel, increasing the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, or creating plastic products
According to the events I saw in the docudrama listed below, an eruption at Yellowstone would have some serious consequences.
In 2005, a two-part television docudrama entitled Supervolcano was shown on BBC, the Discovery Channel, and other television networks worldwide. It looked at the events that could take place if the Yellowstone supervolcano erupted. It featured footage of volcano eruptions from around the world and computer-generated imagery depicting the event. According to the program, such an eruption would have devastating effect across the globe and would cover virtually all of the United States with at least 1 cm of volcanic ash, causing mass destruction in the nearby vicinity and killing plants and wildlife across the continent. Nova featured an episode Mystery of the Megavolcano, examining such eruptions in the last 100,000 years.
My thought is this: A geothermal station can serve the same function as a safety valve on a pressure cooker. By sending cool water down onto the magma pockets that exist in Yellowstone the temperature of the magma will decrease, at least slightly. This will reduce the pressure exerted on the Earth's mantle, and reduce the probability of an eruption. As a result, the local wildlife (including humans) can build their homes in the area without fear of dying in some horrific repeat of the 1980 Mount Saint Helens eruption.
As the area is so active a great deal of power can be generated very easily. Given that the magma in the Yellowstone Park is so close to the surface of the Earth, we can sink multiple water wells in multiple locations to generate electrical power. Since there will always be water on Earth and heat in the Earth's core while humans exist, using that heat to generate the power we need seems to be a logical solution. This in turn frees petroleum used for 40% of the American energy budget for use in other applications like the plastics industry, use as military fuel, and increasing the Strategic Petroleum Reserve. (To paraphrase Ben Franklin's statement, "A gallon saved is a gallon earned.")
That 40% is hard for me to understand. So by taking the information at http://www.eia.doe.gov/cneaf/solar.renewables/page/trends/table1.html and finding 2005's petroleum use, 40.735 Quadrillion BTU, I know how much petroleum is burned to produce electricity. Then I find out that a quadrillion is a 1 followed by 24 zeros. So 40.735 quadrillion BTU is 40,735,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 BTU. Then I use Excel to multiply that huge number by 40% and I get 16,294,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 BTU, or 16.294 Quad BTU. My next step is to find BTU in Wikipedia, which tells me that one quad/year is about 33.43 gigawatts. Multiplying 33.43 gigawatts by 16.294 (quadrillion BTU's from petroleum) gives a result of 544.71 gigawatts of energy per year that this proposed geothermal station will have to produce to totally eliminate the use of petroleum from power generation in America.
Currently the largest geothermal plant in the U.S. produces 75 megawatts of electricity, which is 0.75 gigawatts. So the Yellowstone plant would have to have 726.28 such plants to meet the target figure. (All this assumes my math is correct, which it may not be.) Yikes! That's a lot of powerplants.
But it's worth it! Adding all those geothermal powerplants will not hurt the planet, will decrease the amount of fossil fuels we need to destroy in order to generate power, and serve as a model for other nations so they can develop their own geothermal power programs.
This idea isn't mine. It comes from J. Michael Strazinski's Rising Stars trade paperback. I think it's such a good idea that I'm repeating it here in the hopes of giving it wider exposure.
"Water pollution? Randy [the character elected President] took care of 90% of it with the stroke of a pen. See, the President has sole authority over the nation's waterways."
"So he signed an executive order requiring every factory using fresh water to put their intake valves downstream from their output valves."
"Meaning if they didn't clean up what went out, they'd just suck it right back in again."
"Didn't cost the taxpayers a dime."
Now I'm sure that there are a few costs to the taxpayers. Knowing how capitalism works I'm sure that the owners of the factories would simply pass the cost of the effort on to the consumer in the form of higher prices. But setting that aside, this idea has a lot of potential. Imagine the President ordering this change. Suddenly we have a lot of factories that are much more environmentally friendly.
Though this focuses solely on water pollution because that's where the President's power lies, a similar order regarding air intakes and exhausts could be signed into being by the President. Place the exhausts and smokestacks of a factory downwind of any air intake so dirty nasty air is sucked into the plant. Then change the building codes so all the filters and air purifiers must be placed on the exhaust end rather than the intakes. Now you've got a real economic incentive to keep the air as clean as you can, because your workers are going to get all sorts of health problems if you don't. Higher health care costs means less profit.
Earth's Tinfoil Hat
I just saw where the increase in temperatures is melting the ice caps. This is seen as a problem not only because of the warming, but the reduced amount of ice is reflecting less light/solar radiation back into space, which heats the planet even more.
With that in mind, it would seem logical to me to put a series of panels into space made of aluminum foil on wooden/plastic frames. Float them into geosynchronous orbit over the poles to increase the amount of shade available and reflect solar radiation away from Earth. Assuming that the frames are half an inch thick, and the Space Shuttle is used to deliver the panels, then 360 panels measuring 15 feet wide by 60 feet long could be delivered. So that's 324000 square feet of shade.
But now that I think about it, replace the plain aluminum foil frames with solar panels to power the ISS or something else. Maybe a solar satellite power farm? Anyway, instead of reflecting the light into space, convert it into useful electricity. Oh! How about a space elevator? Or an Arctic Electrical Pipeline that works like the Alaskan Oil Pipeline but delivers electricity down a space elevator shaft to Earth. Then we just run cables along the Trans-Alaska Pipeline to move the electricity down to the continental United States.
August 26, 2008: I just saw that Discovery Channel is going to run an episode of Project Earth that will feature a similar system called "Sun Shield." The main difference is that the astronomer in charge of that program wants to use large glass lenses similar to those in cameras to diffract about 2% of the sun's energy away from Earth.
I like the idea, but I think the use of glass lenses is overkill. Though the glass lens idea does offer several benefits, like being able to focus the sunlight wherever we want, there are too many drawbacks to make the system practical. Here are a few problems with using glass: it's heavy, fragile, expensive, and bulky.
After watching a show about the National Aquatics Center (also known as the "Watercube") building used in the 2008 Summer Olympics in China, I think I have a better solution. By making the reflectors out of the ETFE plastic used to construct the Watercube, most of the problems listed above are solved. ETFE plastic was developed by NASA for the Apollo space program to reflect heat out of the command capsule. Sound familiar? So here are the benefits of using ETFE plastic: It's light, so fewer trips are needed to put the reflectors in orbit. It's durable so launches are far less likely to damage it. It's cheap, so making enough reflectors won't bankrupt a nation. It's one-eighth the thickness of window glass, so we can pack more reflectors on a rocket. It's plastic sheeting, so it requires no special handling. For all those reasons, I think we would be better served by using an ETFE based product to create the Sun Shield reflectors. Just cut out circles of plastic and lift them into orbit. They can be deployed from the International Space Station, or fired directly from a rocket which imparts enough centrifugal force to "spray" the plastic circles out in a flower pattern between Earth and Sol.
There is no reason that a hybrid of the two systems couldn't be created and deployed, possibly as a follow on mission. My ETFE circles would be Phase 1. The only purpose of this is to reduce the amount of sunlight reaching the planet's atmosphere. Phase 2 of the project would extend the ETFE disk's utility by making them electrochromatic. By applying an electrical charge to the plastic, we'd be able to adjust the amount of solar energy that reaches the Earth's atmosphere. We would also use an electrically powered station-keeping drive system to make sure the ETFE reflectors stay in place. The electricity needed to operate these systems would come from solar panels and batteries that are installed in the reflector's frame. Phase 3 of the mission would replace the single electrochromatic ETFE circles with a pair of them attached by a perimeter frame. This frame would be made of a smart metal that can deform itself when electricity is applied. The "air gap" between the ETFE disks would be filled with various levels of carbon dioxide. By combining the smart metal frame with the various internal pressures of carbon dioxide, we could create our own custom lens shapes for various purposes. We could specifically direct the output of a lenses into an approaching celestial object that might hit the Earth, causing it to adjust its course away from the planet. We could also direct the lenses into hurricanes or tropical storms to diffuse their power. Or we could use the beams to warm up Siberia or Canada to provide more habitable land.
Using Blimps To Increase Earth's Albedo
On Discovery Channel's program Project Earth, there's a project to increase the albedo (reflectivity) of marine clouds using carbon neutral ships to push a lot of mist into the air. I'm not describing it well, but don't worry, you can read more about the project. The test showed that it has real possibility, and would be a very good system to use.
So with that in mind, I thought to myself "How can we get the benefits of increased albedo today?" Basically the point of this experiment is to reflect more sunlight away from Earth. And unlike the Tinfoil hat (which Discovery will also be investigating) the advantage to this system is that we don't have to put anything into space. So my idea is simple: Tether a series of hydrogen-filled blimps in the desert to reflect sunlight. Make the top surfaces either bright white (like clouds), or use some aluminized plastic (to create a mirror). This has several advantages over the ship idea:
- Blimps can be placed in national areas so no need for international approval
- Blimps are an economical solution (blimps are cheaper than ships), so more likely to get funding
- Blimps are proven technology, unlike the Flettner rotor
- Blimps can be produced more quickly than ships
- Blimps can be struck down/removed immediately if the system has too many unintended side effects
- No need to put anything in the air (besides the blimp)
- Shade from blimp would probably be welcome in desert areas
Another advantage to using blimps is that we can put them in Alaska or Greenland to combat the melting of glacier ice. This neatly ties into the goals of the Wrapping Greenland episode of the show, which sought to use large sheets of white plastic to reflect the sun's rays away from the Earth.
And if that's not enough, as material science advances we could place solar panels on top of the blimps to generate power. The power could then be used to power a blimp's station-keeping engines (unless it's tethered to the ground), the blimp's hydrogen production (electrolysis) system (keeps the blimp flying), or added to the electrical power grid.
I recommend the use of hydrogen in the blimps for a simple reason: It should be easy to produce it on the blimps. Combine a fog/dew collection system with a solar panel to power an electrolysis system, and we're done. The blimps are by definition going to be in areas that collect dew from clouds and other moisture, so it's a no-brainer. I don't think we could pipe it down into the hydrogen grid, but you never know. If we can that's one more source of power.
Bees and Colony Collapse Disorder
In recent years it has become apparent that all pollinating insects, in particular honeybees, have been hit with a series of environmental changes that is leading to the collapse of their hives. This problem, known officially as Colony Collapse Disorder, or CCD, affects every person and animal on the planet. Honeybees you see pollinate about 75% of the Earth's plants. So if they die, we all die.
Though I am by no means an expert in honeybees, I did hear what the scientists investigating Colony Collapse Disorder thought might be causing the problem. In particular they were concerned about the following:
- Unbalanced honeybee diets
- Vitamin and mineral deficiencies
- Limited number of commercial beekeepers
- General health of bees (loaded with parasites and diseases)
Some commercial beekeepers are convinced that a set of pesticides derived from nicotine are responsible for the destruction of hives. The individual bees that make up the hive, these people say, develop neurological disorders which leads to the bees being unable to find the hive. A sort of "insect Alzheimer's" disease. They also claim that the pesticides compromise the immune system of the bee, leading to death via parasite and disease.
This is one thing I have no idea how to fix. I don't know how you could be a commercial farmer without pesticides. You simply couldn't grow enough food. So I'm going to leave this to other people to try to figure out.
Of course, finding land to plant them all is something of a problem. To that end I'm going to suggest that we plant these flowering plants in areas that are not used today. Places like median strips on highways. My local interstates only have grass median strips. Replacing the grass with clover would increase the amount of bee food available, and it would have an economic benefit to the state of Ohio: Since clover doesn't need to be mowed, watered, or fertilized, the money that would go into keeping up the sod can be reallocated to other highway projects. If the land around highway on and off ramps were replanted with sunflowers, raspberries or blackberries, and lavender, we not only gain bee food sources to amend their diets, but we also gain a much prettier state. Do you like to see just grass everywhere? And the metal supports of an interstate ramp? I know I don't. Placing hardy, bee-friendly flowering plants there will help beautify Ohio.
Naturally we would want to plant the sunflowers down low on the hill so as not to obstruct driver vision. Then we put the lavender and other medium height plants in the middle of the ramp's hill, and clover and other low height plants at the top of the hill. Again this serves to not block the vision of drivers.
The same plants could be located in public parks. I'm not sure how to keep those in funding, but adding more hives of different bees can only be a good way to increase the genetic diversity of the various honeybee species, which would reduce the problems associated with monocultures.
Along those same lines, as companies and public buildings turn to green (or living) roofs it makes sense to put low-maintenance flowering plants on them along with a few beehives. Thus the property owner gains the benefits of a green roof, plus they're helping the fight against Colony Collapse Disorder.
In large (commercial) orchards, which appear to be the largest cause of the unbalanced diet problem, I would think that planting clover between the rows of trees that make up the orchard would help provide an additional source of nectar and pollen for the bees. This would help address the unbalanced diet problem. Plus the clover is a hardier plant than grass and requires less water and fertilizer. It also is pretty tough, and could stand up to vehicles driving over it every so often.
This discussion leads me to think that when I buy my house I should probably find a way to plant some clover, lavender, etc. in my back yard. In fact if I were to make extensive use of clover I wouldn't have to mow the lawn as much. That's good, because I hate mowing the grass. And if I plant blackberries and raspberries around the perimeter of my yard it will help repulse animals I don't want, like deer.
Update April 17, 2008: I found out recently that daffodils are a perennial flower that grow well in Ohio. Even more interesting to me is the fact that they will spread new daffodils via sexual reproduction or asexual reproduction. This allows them to expand out over a wide area over time. In addition, the bulbs and leaves contain natural poisons that deter squirrels and other vermin from eating them. These facts, combined with their long lifespan, gardener-friendly nature, and tolerance for cold weather, makes them an ideal candidate for planting near on and off ramps. The daffodils prefer hillsides, so the angled lands near highway ramps are good locations, but they do need a lot of water while growing which is the one drawback to my plan. Using wild daffodils might be a way around this problem.
Another set of candidates for this idea are the hardier members of the crocus family. In fact the use of the more aggressively reproducing varieties, like Ruby Giant or other members of the Crocus tommasinianus family, which reproduce rapidly and acclimate to the environment quickly. The main drawbacks to these plants is their relatively short blooming period. Even though they bloom earlier than most other plants, the rest of the time they sit dormant. So if I want to get season-long blooms, I'll have to get more and different plant types in there. Another drawback is that they probably wouldn't do well in the median strip of a highway.
Update June 24, 2009: I was browsing the Ohio Department of Transportation website, and found their contact form. So I sent them a message about using clover as a replacement for median strip sod. They sent a nice message back that said replacing existing sod with clover is too expensive, but they are looking for a replacement grass that is low maintenance to reduce their costs.
I applaud ODOT for taking steps in the right direction, but I think they missed the point. Clover is already here, it's cheap, and we don't need to maintain it. To add the cherry to the sundae, clover is a flowering plant that bees love. Instead they're going to replace Kentucky Bluegrass with another (experimental) grass that doesn't provide any food to the insect world and will most likely be expensive. (It's a prototype seed, after all.)
Oh well. At least it isn't a light rail system. ;)
Vitamin and Mineral Deficiency
As scientists identify the various minerals and vitamins that the bees are missing, it should be possible to get multivitamins from a warehouse club, grind them up and put the ground vitamins into a simple syrup solution that bees drink.
Even better would be to put the ground up vitamins and minerals in the water used to irrigate the plants that the bees visit. This is something that is probably best suited for the commercial orchards as it would take a lot of work on the subject plants to get the vitamins into the plants, and doing it on a smaller scale isn't terribly practical.
Limited number of commercial beekeepers
I've already mentioned one possibility in an earlier paragraph: As commercial developers increasingly turn to green roofs to reduce the heating and cooling costs of their buildings, placing a beehive on the roof makes sense. The bees will pollinate the flowering plants the developers put on the roof, which reduces maintenance costs.
And the large commercial orchards could change their relationships with the current commercial beekeepers so the orchards could maintain one or more hives on their property. This idea could introduce a partnership between the growers, university level agricultural programs, state level agricultural programs, as well as high-school level programs in the U.S. like 4-H or Future Farmers of America. Internships with commercial beekeepers could be set up so the next generation of beekeeper could be trained. And if you're a commercial grower and you have your own hive(s), you are not as reliant on other people. Isn't that a good thing?
Of course a city could also put some beehives in their public parks or on city-owned land.
Haagen-Dazs' "Help the Honeybees" program
While pounding down a pint of Häagen-Dazs Chocolate Peanut Butter ice cream yesterday, I saw that Häagen-Dazs is working to help the honeybees. Their website, http://helpthehoneybees.com/, has all the information about their efforts to help save the honeybees. They've even created a special Limited Edition flavor specifically for the bees called Vanilla Honey Bee.
Update: November 2, 2009:
I just realized that with the advancement of biodiesel fuels, every fast food restaurant in America can become a gas station. Imagine being able to pull up to Wendy's and get your double with cheese and pickle and then being able to top off the tank.
Of course you might not be able to get all the frying you need to meet demand, so Wendy's, Burger King, and McDonald's could join forces to create regional gas stations like the Pilot stations along highways. You know, for truckers?
And come to think of it, long haul truckers might be the best market to start with. Fuel costs are their biggest single expense, so if we can drive down that cost, they have a better standard of living. This will have immediate benefits to the American economy. Of course, this does nothing to address the American obesity problem, but we can deal with that after we make sure the truckers have a good livelihood.
After the long haul truckers, I think we should target construction companies. The ones that have the big dump trucks and cranes. Actually, any kind of heavy industry, including mining equipment and port authorities like L.A. (There are a couple of small towns near L.A. that have huge numbers of cancer patients, lung problems, etc. By converting those huge engines, I hope we can improve the quality of the air and reduce health care costs in those areas.)
Artificial Fossil Fuels
Fossil fuels are hydrocarbons, primarily coal and petroleum (liquid petroleum or natural gas), formed from the fossilized remains of dead plants and animals by exposure to heat and pressure in the Earth's crust over hundreds of millions of years.
So my idea is simple: Get a bunch of landscaper waste and put it in a big hydraulic press that provides a lot of pressure while simultaneously heating the chamber with the press to "fossil fuel" creating heat levels. Voila - Instant coal.
Nuclear Power Stirling Engines
Similar to the Stirling Engine Signature Reduction System, this idea basically calls for nuclear power plants to use Stirling engines as part of their cooling towers. By running the waste heat through the Stirling engine, thereby converting it to mechanical force, the power plants could generate a little more power. This power could be used to maintain the plant equipment or be dumped into the power grid. The power plant thus becomes a little more cost effective because it's squeezing every last bit of energy out of the heated gases it creates.
The benefit to the environment is simple: The Stirling engine reduces the temperature of the plant exhaust, so it's not pumping a lot of waste heat into the air. I don't know exactly what this would help, but it has to help something in the environment.
I've seen that a company has created a Solar Brick Light for people's homes. It's basically a glass block which contains a solar cell, battery, and LED lamp. The solar cell converts sunlight into electricity which is stored to power the LED lamps at night.
I think it would be really cool if they could expand their idea to put the solar cell into a road surface. From there, the solar cell gathers photovoltaic energy and pumps it into the local electrical grid. This has a two-fold benefit:
- Provides additional electricity
- Helps offset the lower albedo of dark road surfaces (see the Los Angeles Times "New anti-warming tool: white roofs" article for details.)
"Tenting" large areas of blacktop
Another idea inspired by the L.A. Times article came to me when I was at the grocery store. Put large white tents over the parking lot to reflect sunlight back into space. This would help counteract the loss of glacial and Antarctic ice and their reflectivity. It would also prevent the dark blacktop commonly used in parking lots from absorbing solar energy as heat, and releasing it at night (see urban heat island).
Those are the benefits to the environment. The businesses that install them benefit because their customers stay dry when it's raining, and cool when it's sunny. Their parking lots don't need to have snowplows remove snowfall, because the tent puts the snow out to the side of the lot. And as long as the tent is mostly white, you could probably use the tent surface for some advertising space (Billboard or maybe even a digital solution).
The only downside I can see is the area protected by the tent will be darker than the surrounding area, so you'd need to put some lights in place to illuminate the area. Mabye that need can be dealt with by putting a few clear panels in the tent like a skylight or something.
Use stronger versions of the light poles used in parking lots now as the tent poles, and attach the other end to the front of the building.
Using paint to reflect sunlight
An episode of MythBusters took place at an abandoned military airfield. I realized that if the lack of reflectivity is a big deal for global warming as this article suggests, maybe we can do something about it by painting the roads and blacktop of closed military bases white. That would increase the reflectivity of the ground, thereby reducing the amount of solar energy that Earth traps.
At first I thought this idea could be expanded to cover roads, but then I realized everyone would be driving in whiteout conditions, and that would suck. So we should just stick to the closed military bases for now.
Produce Fresh Water from Carbon Dioxide
On an episode of Discovery Channel's Project Earth called Fixing Carbon, a Candadian scientist wanted to use Sodium Hydroxide (NaOH) to capture carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere. The team was able to get the prototype scrubber up and running, and it did a good job of pulling carbon dioxide out of the air, offsetting the CO2 pumped out by the generator they used to power the device. But they overlooked one important outcome: The result of the sodium hydroxide and carbon dioxide mixing was water and sodium carbonate. (See this discussion for details.)
With so much of the Earth's water supply locked away in the oceans, providing freshwater for drinking and irrigation is critical to humanity's survival. This carbon dioxide scrubber could, in theory, help solve two problems:
- Global warming via greenhouse gas removal
- Reduced amounts of fresh water
All we'd need to do is put a lot of sodium hydroxide in an area where there's a lot of carbon dioxide. Like, for example, a coal fired power plant's exhaust stream. (The sodium hydroxide would pull out other pollutants as well, but we're really interested in the water production.)
"That's all well and good Matt, but who would pay for it?" Well, I'm sure the American Natural Soda Ash Corporation and FMC Industrial Chemicals would love to have a stable, nonpolluting, cheap source of sodium carbonate, which is the other byproduct of the acid base reaction. It seems a lot cheaper than the current production methods, and they'd likely get a lot of good PR. And any power company that uses coal would probably love to have their waste stream purified to meet the requirements of the Clean Air Act. Since most power plants use steam turbines to generate power, they could recapture the water created to turn the generators. That would reduce the power plant's overhead, and lighten the environmental effects on nearby rivers and streams.
And a similar technology has already been proven: Arizona Public Service, the electricity company in Arizona, has already used the carbon dioxide from their natural-gas powered Redhawk power station to grow algae, and now they're going to try again with a coal fired power plant. So replace the algae with sodium hydroxide, and Arizona Public Service could produce water. I think the Arizona desert dwellers would love that.
Again on the Project Earth program, there was an effort by Dr. Jason Box to wrap melting galciers in thin blankets to reflect sunlight back out into space. The melting glaciers caused a few problems:
- Fresh water created from melting glaciers created dark lakes of fresh water that in turn trapped heat and focused sunlight on underside of glacier, increasing melt rate
- As glacier melts, Earth's albedo (reflectivity) drops, leading to more heat being absorbed by the planet and speeding global warming
Dr. Box's solution was to wrap the melting areas of Greenland in a white plastic blanket that would reflect sunlight back into space, and not melt. His goal was to address the second problem I list above. The good news is it worked: Glacial ice protected by the blankets didn't melt. Solving this problem at the source is great, but Dr. Box essentially ignored the second part of the problem, and the one I think is a little easier to solve: The freshwater lakes that develop on the glacier surface. As I already mentioned, the lakes are darker than the ice surrounding them, so they absorb a lot of heat. This means that they start to melt the glacial ice surrounding them. The shape of the lakes is also a problem, because they act as giant magnifying glasses, focusing sunlight on a small area. This results in the ice at the bottom of the lake melting faster.
Fortunately I have a cheap solution: Pykrete.
Pykrete is a mixture of wood pulp (like sawdust) and water that is frozen. It's so strong in fact, that Winston Churchhill wanted to create an aircraft carrier out of the stuff in World War Two. Later, the Mythbusters made a boat out of the stuff. And best of all, you can make it from shredded paper! (That's what the Mythbusters did to create their boat.)
So I'm sure you're seeing where this is headed: Take a lot of shredded paper and dump it on the surface of the glacier's freshwater lakes. This shredded paper will do several things:
- Increase albedo of the lake surface (white is more reflective than blue)
- Pysically block sunlight from entering the lake water, which will:
- cool the water, preventing ice melt and allowing the water to freeze again
- prevent the magnifying glass effect that destroys the glacier's "foundation ice"
If a mixture of shredded paper and water was sprayed out over the glacier ice that was melting, it might slow or stop the melting effect. To really solve the problem, the water could be pumped out of a freshwater lake on the glacier's surface, reducing its size. (This would solve both halves of the melting glacier problem: We'd create blankets for Greenland like Dr. Box wanted to solve the problem at the source, and reduce the effect of the lakes on the glacier.)