Aug 17, 2019 | Updated: 07:24 AM EDT

Designers in Indonesia Propose to Build a Submersible Iceberg Factory to Help Bring Back the Icebergs

Aug 11, 2019 07:17 AM EDT


Scientists, engineers, and designers continue and try to find different new ways to help battle the effects of climate change.  One of these ways would be what was proposed a few months ago to build Oceanic City, a concept that would allow for ecosystems to live on floating cities. 

The rise of sea levels is considered one of the most worrying effects of climate change.  This is the reason why designers from Indonesia have conceptualized a vessel that would ply polar waters and pop out icebergs in order to address the issue on rising seas. 

In a competition held by the Association of Siamese Architects, the designers won second place after presenting their proposal in a video, while emphasizing that sea-level rise should be addressed by more than just defensive solutions.  In the video, the proposed structure would have a well that is shaped like a hexagon and would slowly submerge itself beneath the ocean in order to fill the well with seawater.  The vessel would then rise and a built-in desalination system that would remove the salt from the water and a "giant freezing machine", along with low surrounding temperatures, would freeze the desalinated water to create hexagonal icebergs.  As the vessel would submerge itself again, the iceberg would float away.  And the process would repeat itself.  The designers theorize that a number of submersible iceberg factories that operate continuously would be able to create enough hexagonal icebergs in order to produce a larger sheet.


The lead architect of the project Faris Rajah Kotahatuhaha says that the proposed design is complementary to the ongoing efforts to provide a solution to climate change.  He then stressed that his approach to curbing climate change is forked, with one hand aimed at reducing carbon emissions and the other at rebuilding melted ice in the ocean.

Director of the University of Colorado's National Snow and Ice Data Center, Mark Serreze, praised the proposal for being "very interesting," but accompanied this praise with some questions.  He asked how many of these submarines would we need to accomplish rebuild the ice and who will build them.  He also asked about the operation of the submarines-how much energy would it take and where would the energy come from?  He made a point that unless it would be powered by a clean source, like wind energy, it would result in an increase in release of greenhouse gases, therefore defeating the purpose of the project.

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