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Thread: Utilizing Melting Icecaps. (idea)'s

  1. #1 Utilizing Melting Icecaps. (idea)'s 
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    I sat watching a documentary about earth change, and a rather impractical idea came to me.


    Redirecting the runoff from melting glaciers and snow caps to a basin in an area that it would do some good. Re-route it to parts of the Grand Canyon. (dammed up for the purpose) We could also utilize some of the seasonal precipitation and melting of the snows from the arctic as well. An infrastructure of man made rivers, much like the paved over rivers in the southwest would be the delivery means.


    Granted, the feasibility of such an undertaking is questionable, and would be a massive public works project. (which might also solve, at least temporarily some issues for the U.S. workforce) The water could be used to create farmland in the desert, and over time fertile fields.

    The potential for hydro electric power is certainly something that could be incorporated into the system.


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    we're probably a lot better off by not screwing with our own planet. if we could stop and reverse our carbon footprint in the U.S. alone then the ice caps melting would no longer be a problem for the next century, and a global undertaking to reduce climate change would certainly make it a non-issue permanently.

    the feasability of such a project is determined only by man's willingness to do it. if there were severe food shortages in countries with the money to do it then i have no doubt it would happen. but in our capitalist system the rich countries have enough farmland for themselves(and then some) it is only the poor countries that don't have enough domestic food to support themselves. and the result of the rising oceans thanks to the melting ice caps would destroy many of our major trade centers presently. for instance manhattan island would be underwater, and new orleans would go from a slowly sinking pain in the ass to keep dry to little more than a memory.


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    Quote Originally Posted by saul
    we're probably a lot better off by not screwing with our own planet. if we could stop and reverse our carbon footprint in the U.S. alone then the ice caps melting would no longer be a problem for the next century, and a global undertaking to reduce climate change would certainly make it a non-issue permanently.
    It's not the carbon footprint in my opinion, but rather what the carbon footprint comprises of. The glacier ice melts may have components of meting due to ambient temperature, but see the major effect from carbon as soot. Not carbon as CO2, increasing the greenhouse effect. The greenhouse effect is very minimal over ice as it rely on trapping IR. Soot however traps a very large part of the solar spectra.
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  5. #4 Re: Utilizing Melting Icecaps. (idea)'s 
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    Quote Originally Posted by arfur
    I sat watching a documentary about earth change, and a rather impractical idea came to me.


    Redirecting the runoff from melting glaciers and snow caps to a basin in an area that it would do some good. Re-route it to parts of the Grand Canyon. (dammed up for the purpose) We could also utilize some of the seasonal precipitation and melting of the snows from the arctic as well. An infrastructure of man made rivers, much like the paved over rivers in the southwest would be the delivery means.
    In most places where people live, the additional yearly melt due to climate change isn't large compared to the annual melt that happens every year. In other words an added 10% or so above what would be the normal spring melt might be noticeable but isn't likely to create problems. The greater problem come when the amount of reserve ice and snow fields are reduced to the point where the reserve of spring melt goes down dramatically along with the available water for agriculture into the summer months. The Rockies, which feed the Colorado River, might be one example of this though the persistent ice is pretty low in the lower US. Even that being the case there's been dramatic loss of persistent snow pack which is noticeable even from my extensive hiking of the Rockies during the 1980s. Better example are places like Afghanistan where the reduction of snow packs in the Hindu Kush has dramatically reduced the amount of available water and is directly related to their failing agriculture--former rivers are now dry or trickles. Most models predict the reducing of snow and ice Himalayan melting will create severe problems in the coming decades.
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  6. #5 Re: Utilizing Melting Icecaps. (idea)'s 
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lynx_Fox
    Quote Originally Posted by arfur
    I sat watching a documentary about earth change, and a rather impractical idea came to me.


    Redirecting the runoff from melting glaciers and snow caps to a basin in an area that it would do some good. Re-route it to parts of the Grand Canyon. (dammed up for the purpose) We could also utilize some of the seasonal precipitation and melting of the snows from the arctic as well. An infrastructure of man made rivers, much like the paved over rivers in the southwest would be the delivery means.
    In most places where people live, the additional yearly melt due to climate change isn't large compared to the annual melt that happens every year. In other words an added 10% or so above what would be the normal spring melt might be noticeable but isn't likely to create problems. The greater problem come when the amount of reserve ice and snow fields are reduced to the point where the reserve of spring melt goes down dramatically along with the available water for agriculture into the summer months. The Rockies, which feed the Colorado River, might be one example of this though the persistent ice is pretty low in the lower US. Even that being the case there's been dramatic loss of persistent snow pack which is noticeable even from my extensive hiking of the Rockies during the 1980s. Better example are places like Afghanistan where the reduction of snow packs in the Hindu Kush has dramatically reduced the amount of available water and is directly related to their failing agriculture--former rivers are now dry or trickles. Most models predict the reducing of snow and ice Himalayan melting will create severe problems in the coming decades.
    Rather than disagree with the volume you state, I will simply ask this question.

    To what certainty is any cause of this problem known?

    I will ask that such an answer consider known lags in the global system, and known changes in solar forcing.

    As a final question, I will ask how we can be certain than man's activity has any notable effect after we get past nature's effect.
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