DIP is about “cut” part of the broken icebergs drifting near polar circles and “paste” them into chosen places in the desert areas, where the water is used for intensive greening. The prerequisites are:
As a result of global warming there are more calving icebergs – drifting freely in the ocean. These icebergs decrease the white area that reflects the sunlight back, thus allowing the sun to heat the Earth more than average (in certain period of time), which leads to chain reaction – more melted and broken icebergs, more heat, etc. Second damage is the fact that when the icebergs break off from the glacier they contribute to ocean level raising. This tendency threatens a lot of countries, such as Bangladesh, Netherlands, Japan, England and many other low, coastal lands, meaning possibility of massive immigration wave. Third damage is that melted icebergs change the saltiness of the ocean water – thus disrupting ocean’s natural streams – a complicated process ruled by the saltiness and temperatures in different layers. Eventual distortion of the currents could baffle the spread of the warmth and to bring global freezing, which could be fatal for many species as well as people.
Ocean’s surface is a natural habitat for many microorganisms (part of the food chain), that live through photosynthesis / absorbing CO2. A drastic change in their environment (temperature, saltiness, acidity, etc.) could disrupt their behavior, thus worsening the entire circle.
There are more than 720 oil platforms in Atlantic Ocean, only. Not to mention the increasing shipping traffic all over the world. Collision with an iceberg still remains a threat. To prevent this today Coastal Guards use radar and visual surveillance, satellite photos, radio buoys, etc.
Recent news from southern hemisphere – in Dec.2006 few broken icebergs were observed very near to the New Zealand coastline. The nature is actually "helping" us, by cutting the transport expenses - the main drawback in DIP. Instead of watching them as a tourist attraction, we could use these vast amounts of fresh water, especially when they are so close to a place in need. Given that Australia suffers severe drought, water shortage and forest fires, this is really a "hint" by the nature how we can deliver fresh water comparatively cheap to a place where the water is very scarce, and use it not just for consumption, but also for starting massive greening operation. More…
There are deserts on every continent. They cover more than a third of the land on Earth. In Australia alone they cover around 70%. Deserts are expanding all the time, even right now; while you’re reading this, they take new territories. Sandstorms as well as the advancing sand dunes destroy life – they kill the plants, respectively – the cattle, respectively – the farming, and so on – thus making human presence there very hard to survival = immigration wave.
Satellite scanning and historical traces show that many years ago Sahara was fruitful, green savanna. So, today we can reverse desertification in some parts of the deserts in order to secure better environment for our needs. More…
The third climate formation element – the air is nonetheless affected by the climate change. The gathered data confirms the accelerated growth rates of the greenhouse gases quantities. Lesser number of trees, respectively – leaf leads to less absorbed CO2, respectively – thicker “blanket” and higher rate of global warming (partially offseted by the opposite process – aerosol induced Global Dimming). Higher average temperatures mean higher vaporization rates, meaning more water vapour in the atmosphere, this way adding to the “greenhouse” effect.
Temperature extremes take many casualties, often overload the power grids and devastate the agriculture. Except overloads and blackouts these temperature extremes bring also an energy “hunger” - for cooling in summer and heating in winter, thus demanding more energy production – in today’s methods this equals to even more released CO2. More…
The “energy-CO2” connection
More than 2 billion people have no access to energy. On the other hand global energy demands are expected to grow by 60% over the next 25 years. Provided that we will continue to use mainly the traditional methods and technologies for energy production, even shaped by the latest international agreements regarding the emission demands, this will cause a significant increase in greenhouse gas emissions. More…
The human factor
The advancing sands and raising water levels limit the size of the appropriate habitable zones. On the other hand urbanization expands because of the growing population and immigration (better work perspectives=better life possibilities). Increased density brings problems like diseases, social, ethnic and religious conflicts, etc. Another factor is the enormous number of unemployment people – they have very limited means of livelihood, respectively incomes. Misery leads to illiteracy and embitterment, which is the foundation for religious fanaticism and violence.
There is growing paradox - more people are unnecessary as workers and more are necessary as consumers. But how to consume when you don't have a job, which would give you the income, which would allow you to consume? More…
The objectives / benefits
By turning the negatives into advantages Desert Ice Project suggests complex solution of multiple vital problems. Whether the water for the greening will be delivered by iceberg movement or by massive appliance of powerful desalinisation stations distributed widely on the coastal lines (let the best method win), it should improve the situation for all the abovementioned sides:
– Stabilized global average temperatures should decrease the process of polar ice melting/calving and the number of icebergs that “overfill” the oceans; restoring the different water layers balance;
– Stabilized temperatures should also reduce the mountain glaciers melting, thus avoiding massive valley floods from one hand, and the danger of drying off the main water sources for the life in the lowlands;
– It should stop further deserts enhancement by green belts, green, humid zones that not allow to dust and sand to flow in the air, and to form destructive sandstorms; it prevents the drought and erosion by keeping the moisture into the soil and roots of the plants;
– Some economists and other experts suggest that the mankind should concentrate spending money on social and health projects like fighting AIDS, malaria, etc.; and leaving the legacy of Global Warming to the future generations. The supporters of the idea assume that the effects of climate change wouldn’t happen before let say 100 years, so instead of thinking of unforeseeable, we should spend money on the apparent problems, for instance – making Third world richer. This sounds good, but first of all, the Climate is not a static system that will start to alter after 100 years, it is happening all the time (we don’t feel the Earth’s spinning either, but this doesn’t mean that the Earth is still, right?); and second – we should help poorer of us by giving them a job, not just cash – give poor man a net, not a fish…More…
There were already few attempts to tow icebergs into dry lands, but only for direct consumption, not considered for long term, strategic usage. In 1977 and 1980 conferences were held to investigate the possibility of moving Antarctic icebergs to places where water shortages are frequently acute, e.g., Australia, California and Saudi Arabia. This controversial project, however, has not yet materialized.
What happened since then, to force the reconsideration of the idea?
– For these years we have increased population (1980 – 4.4 billion, 2008 – over 6.7 billion, 2020 – expected 7.5 billion), with the same or even smaller water supplies (counting the pollution) – a problem that is about to harden even more (valid also for food, energy, row materials, etc.);
– For these 30 years we have significant technological advancement, for instance – GPS that ensures optimal transportation; much more efficient engines – more economic and clean, and more powerful; there is remarkable progress in communications, shipping, infrastructure, agricultural science, gene engineering, etc.
– Asia's greenhouse gas emissions will treble over the next 25 years, according to a report commissioned by the Asian Development Bank (ADB). Some country members of the Kyoto Protocol cannot fulfil their CO2 quotas. Despite the protocol and other restraining efforts, greenhouse gas emissions still grow, which probably will be followed by nature’s response, so perhaps we should spend more time, money and endeavours to prepare territories / reserves for eventual refugee wave.
– Ocean level is raising, while the deserts are expanding;
– Polar and mountain glaciers melt with increasing speed;
– Nature extremes (drought, cold, sharp temperature amplitudes, hurricanes, floods, landslides, etc.) hit harder business / infrastructure and people;
– While the energy problem deepens, there is growing interest to renewable energy sources, including more fields with bio fuel crops.
– Food & water crisis in the poorest countries, poverty and diseases are not defeated by the current aid programs; Western European and US rich governments try to push away the illegal immigration waves by laws, walls, night vision cameras, and other barriers. However, fighting the syndrome is not like fighting the problem beneath.
– Kyoto protocol extends to 2012. EU’s Common Agricultural Policy extends to 2013. After these deadlines there must be signed new international agreements – more comprehensive, more harmonic, more efficient.
– “Stern” report was clear – “spending 1 per cent of gross domestic product each year on tackling climate change would save 5 to 20 per cent of GDP by the end of the century”. Don’t we do the same when we insure our life or home?
– While the complex problems accumulate, there are no too many alternatives for adequate response. Conservation couldn’t catch up with the growing consumption; so more freshwater could be delivered either through desalination, or by icebergs utilisation. It is only a question of time.
About pro and con
There is continuous argumentation between the supporters and opponents of the idea of manmade global warming, but even if we put aside the global warming, could someone propose instead of greening, a better way to stop desert enhancement; to fight erosion, drought and landslides; to give the poor habitants in these areas an opportunity for managing their own lives, but not depending on aids and credits.
When a disaster happens, we cannot simply accept the loss (as we did it so far) – “This is a god’s decision”, “That’s the mother nature’s will”; but we must take some precautionary steps – not only saving people by evacuating them preventively, but to harness this enormous energy, to make it work for us, not against us. We are talking already about terraforming, meaning adapting planets to our biological necessities, in order to further settlement; so even if today these words sound heretically, tomorrow this will be real.
First steps are done already – as a result of the unprecedented tsunami disaster in South East Asia that killed almost a quarter of million people from many nationalities, the world got united and took unprecedented measures for relief and restoration, as well as unprecedented initiative for Global warning system. We must ask ourselves: should we take painful lessons every time, or we can learn from the past? More…