The Science Wants to Build a 62-Mile-Long Barrier to Stop Antarctica from Melting

Well, now. A lot of this global warming stuff seems kooky.

But this just seems like common sense.

The Guardian:

Scientists are working on an unusual plan to prevent Antarctic glaciers from melting. They want to build a set of giant underwater curtains in front of ice sheets to protect them from being eroded by warm sea water.

Ice in polar regions is now disappearing at record rates as global warming intensifies, and urgent action is needed to slow down this loss, the international group of ­scientists has warned.

Their proposed solution is the construction of a 100km-long curtain that would be moored to the bed of the Amundsen Sea. It would rise by about 200 metres from the ocean floor and would partially restrict the inflow of relatively warm water that laps at the bases of coastal Antarctic glaciers and undermines them.

The Seabed Curtain project, if implemented, would be one of the biggest geo-engineering programmes ever undertaken. “It would be a giant project – but then we face a gigantic problem,” glaciologist John Moore of Lapland University told the Observer last week

The melting of glaciers in Antarctica would could trigger catastrophic flooding around the planet and result in hundreds of millions of people losing their homes. That will be incredibly bad for civilisation as we know it, so we need to do something.”

The curtain proposed by Moore – who is working with scientists at the University of Cambridge and other ­centres in the US – would stretch along the seabed opposite the Thwaites and Pine Island glaciers. These act as plugs that prevent the giant ice sheets behind them from sliding into the ocean.

Scientists warn that the loss of the Thwaites and Pine Island glaciers could be enough to raise sea levels round the world by three metres if they melted, a prospect now considered to be a real threat as global warming takes a grip of the region and causes sea temperatures to rise.

It all seems very reasonable.

Further, it sounds like something out of an HP Lovecraft story.


I’m on board.