This Iceberg Making Sub Torpedoes Global Warming

Global warming continues to be a worldwide concern, which is prompting some very creative thinking on how we can address and overcome this challenging problem. Ideas have included building floating cities to counter the rising ocean levels or erecting giant sea walls to hold the waters back. Snow cannons have been proposed, which would help to cover the melting polar ice in Antarctica with a new layer of snow. But these are all defensive measures. A team of designers out of Indonesia is proposing a more offensive solution: a submarine that makes icebergs.

iceberg submarine aerial view

These submarines would slip into the waters of polar regions to collect sea water. The submarine would slip below the ocean surface to collect the seawater into a large hexagonal well and then it would rise to the surface again. The water would go through a desalination process to remove the salt from the water. Once the submarine has fresh water in it, it would rely on the chilly temperatures as wellas a “giant freezing machine” to freeze the fresh water. With a six-sided, 25 meter wide glacier formed, the sub would slip back under the water to release the iceberg. The sub would then repeat the process, eventually creating new ice fields.

Designer Faris Rajak Kotahatuhaha, an architect in Jakarta and leader of the project, envisions this design as a way to help support and even complement other efforts to curb emissions. “To stop global warming, of course we still have to reduce carbon emmissions throughout the world,” Faris stated. His idea is definitely creative, but many experts doubt that it is very feasible. “It’s like trying to save the sand castle you built at the beach using a Dixie cup as the tide comes in,” says Michael Mann, a professor of atmospheric sciences at Penn State. Others question who will build the subs and at what cost, and what will be their power source? If they use fossil fuels, they may actually cause more harm than good. If nothing else, at least Faris is proposing a solution, which can get other discussions started.

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