You may soon be hearing oceanographers calling to “Build the wall!” Constructing giant underwater walls could slow down melting glaciers due to climate change, according to a proposal from a Princeton glaciologist.
Building walls at the mouths of large glaciers in Greenland and Antarctica would help separate them from the warmer ocean waters. This separation could cause significant delay in how quickly the glaciers melt, according to Princeton researcher Michael Wolovick. Some estimates say the walls could extend the glacier’s lifespan by 10 times.
The solution may seem outlandish, but it’s actually much more affordable and targeted than other proposals such as massive sun shades in space or adding iron to the ocean to increase algae production. The walls would sit well below the surface, working to block warm underlying currents.
“Their geographic scale is smaller,” Wolovick told The Atlantic. “You get much more bang for your buck, in terms of how many societal impacts come from these specific ice streams and outlet glaciers.”
Read more about Wolovick’s plan here.
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