An old episode of Futurama gave a tongue in cheek solution to global warming—drop a giant ice cube into the ocean every now and then.
In theory, however, the sarcastic solution actually has some merit. It takes a lot of energy to melt ice, so if we somehow managed to funnel the energy of greenhouse gases trapped within Earth’s atmosphere into this ice cube, then it would absorb all 300 terawatts of extra heat caused by climate change.
Easy? Not quite. For starters, where would that much ice come from? To complete this task, you would need around three quintillion grams of ice, roughly 31,000 cubic kilometers. Even if every single person on Earth produced 5 kilograms of ice per day, it would take over 2,000 years to make an ice cube that big.
As Kyle Hill points out in the video below, this method “theoretically makes sense, but is ridiculous.”
As absurd as the idea is, even Futurama knew it was only meant to be a band-aid solution.
What we need now are ways that address the root issues of climate change, like the Clean Energy Fund's recent investment in research and technology to lower greenhouse-gas emissions, cutting use of fossil fuels and shifting to renewable energy sources, and focusing on putting electric vehicles (EVs) on the road. These solutions may not be as quick as dropping a giant ice cube into the sea, but these initiatives are our best hope in actually combatting climate change.
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