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See How Ice-Making Submarines Could Help Refreeze the Arctic

August 9th 19__Kristin Houser__Filed Under: Earth & Energy
Faris Rajak Kotahatuhaha

Need More, Make More

A team of Indonesian designers has a plan for addressing Arctic ice melt: make more ice.

To do that, they propose building submarines that could serve as giant ice makers in the ocean — though experts warn that the subs could do more harm than good.

Arctic Ice, Ice Baby

The designers created an animated video to show how their submarine would work, and at first glance, it looks pretty cool — pun intended.

First, the sub sinks below the water’s surface to fill a hexagonal well in its deck. A desalination machine then removes the salt from the water, and the sub freezes the freshwater using the low ambient temperature plus a “giant freezing machine,” according to the video.

Finally, the sub sinks underwater again to release the hexagonal iceberg. Repeat the process enough times with enough submarines, and you could create entire sheets of ice.

Plan on Ice

Though Mark Serreze, director of the University of Colorado’s National Snow and Ice Data Center, told NBC News that the idea is “very interesting,” he ultimately thinks recreating lost ice would be “simply a Band-Aid” for Earth’s climate change problem.

Even worse, the subs could exacerbate the issue, if they’re powered by fossil fuels.

What we really need to do is address greenhouse gas emissions, Serreze told NBC News — and designer Faris Rajak Kotahatuhaha agrees.

“To stop global warming, of course we still have to reduce carbon emissions throughout the world,” he told NBC News — but he still thinks his team’s ice-making submarines could complement those efforts.

READ MORE: This ice-making submarine would pop out bergs to help fight climate change [NBC News]

More on sea levels: Humans Aren’t Solely to Blame for Arctic Ice Melt, Says Report