New Proposal to Refreeze the Arctic Promises Environmental Benefits

A new proposal by a group of scientists and designers offers the ability to refreeze the arctic. The design was named runner up at the ASA International Design Competition.  Faris Rajak Kotahatuhaha designed the submersible vessel that would produce hexagonal icebergs stretching 82 feet wide and 16 feet thick. The technology works by dipping below the surface, filling up a cavity with seawater, filtering out salt and freezing naturally. The ship would be able to produce 1 iceberg each month using this system.

Currently, artic sea ice is melting at a rate of 12.85% per decade according to NASA. Re-iceberg-isation would help repopulate arctic sea ice in addition to doubling as a research vessel and could be used for eco-tourism. The ice produced using this technology could be placed strategically to benefit wildlife populations affected by reduced sea-ice like the walrus and polar bear.

Photo: Faris Rajak Kotahatuhaha

The concept design must be tested further to understand how the submarine would be powered. The manufacturing process would need to operate with a low carbon footprint in order for this system to carry net benefits that make implementing this system worth it. The technology is in its early stages but shows promising benefits to the fight against climate change. While this technology doesn’t necessarily get to the root of the problem of ice-melt, it may be able to slow down the rate it’s melting to a more manageable pace.