Will they stop the Doomsday Glacier?  A multi-billion dollar plan

Thwaites Glacier Located in West Antarctica, it is more than 190 thousand years old and contains more than 480 thousand square kilometers of area. Cubic kilometers of ice. Its melting will cause sea levels to rise by up to 65 cm – The consequences for all of humanity will be catastrophic. Nearly 100 million people will be directly at risk of flooding.

Researchers noticed this Melting of the Thwaites Glacier This will trigger a whole chain of events, including greater and faster melting of ice in Antarctica. Melting additional layers of ice would cause sea levels to rise by more than 3 metres.

One of the main factors causing glaciers to melt is… Influx of warm, salty sea water. A warm stream touches the edge of the Thwaites Glacier, further disintegrating. As experts note, as ocean temperatures rise (as a result of climate change), this current will increasingly erode the edge of the glacier.

Latest suggested The strategy to prevent the melting of the Thwaites Glacier is… curtains, or rather underwater curtains. At first glance, the idea seems completely ridiculous, but thanks to it you will be able to achieve tangible benefits.

Finally, the curtains It is supposed to be about 100 kilometers long It aims to prevent warm sea water from entering the glacier. Implementing this great geoengineering idea would require up to $50 billion.

In theory, great underwater curtains It will be installed on the ocean floor near the glacier interface. This would stop the flow of warm water masses, and over time would cause the glacier to thicken and perhaps even rebuild.

The researchers noted that flexible curtains are much easier to transport and dismantle than rigid plastic walls. Furthermore, if they have a negative impact on the environment, they can be quickly removed and replaced with environmentally friendly ones. In addition, the curtain will not block all the water, but only the “bottom layer.”

Currently, scientists from the University of Cambridge are in the early stages of developing and testing the first prototype. The next phase of research is scheduled to take place in 2025. In ongoing analyzes and researchers A 3-meter version of this technology is being tested Inside smaller tanks. The purpose of these experiments is to determine the level of functionality of the invention.

If all goes according to plan, the next test site will be Kam RiverWhich is located in Hertfordshire, England. The concept of the research is to gradually increase the size of subsequent prototypes so that experiments confirm that the technology is stable enough Installed in Antarctica.

The researchers say that if all goes according to plan, in less than two years they will test another prototype on one of these planets Norwegian fjords. With additional stages, the cost of the experiments increases – currently it is about PLN 10,000. Dollars, implementing the technology will actually cost $10 million, and Creating and installing a giant curtain in Antarctica is expected to cost up to $50 billion.

– This is a huge sum, but compare the risks and risks: the cost of protecting sea levels worldwide, just coastal defense alone, is expected to be About 50 billion dollars annually For every meter of sea level rise, said John Moore of the University of Lapland. Moore also added: “We don't really know if that's the case.” [Thwaites] It may collapse tomorrow, after 10 years, or after 50 years. We need to collect better data and act.

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