Geoengineering experiment suggests a new way to stop Antarctica's ice sheets from melting away
The new study, proposes a drastic, decades-long geoengineering project that would pump huge amounts of ocean water to the ice sheet, adding 7,400 gigatons (7.4 trillion tons) of "artificial snowfall" and reversing the decline. Simulating the current effects on Antarctica's ice sheets and the changes they experience with increasing snowfall, the researchers were able to map out a process that could potentially halt the ice loss.
Mostly, the problem lies in pumping the water out of the ocean, which requires an enormous amount of energy. The study suggests constructing a series of 12,000 wind turbines to enable this process to take place and then pumping artificial snow into two glaciers on the West Antarctic coast. The team suggest that activity would result in a 2 to 5 centimeter drop in sea level but the added weight of artificial snow falling on the surface would shore up the glaciers, improving their stability.
"Even if a geoengineering project such as this were possible, it certainly shouldn't detract from the other urgent action which is required to reduce greenhouse gas emissions."