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Preventing water crises
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Preventing water crises

Can Antarctic ice be saved?

Scientists at the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research believe that the West Antarctic Ice Sheet could be saved using artificial snow. The experts propose a solution involving pumping sea water onto glaciers and spreading it using snow cannons. However, implementing the project would be a highly complex operation.

Antarctica is one of the last untouched areas of the world, so the intervention would also carry significant environmental risk.

“The fundamental trade-off is
whether we as humanity want
to sacrifice Antarctica to save the currently inhabited coastal regions and the cultural heritage that we have built and are building on our shores. It is about global metropolises, from
New York to Shanghai, which in the
long term will be below sea level
if nothing is done,”

said Anders Levermann, a physicist with the Potsdam Institute and Columbia University, and a co-author of the study.

At present, that is where the continent’s ice is melting at the fastest rate, and its contribution to global sea level rise is increasing. “So we investigated what could stop a potential collapse in our simulations and increased the snowfall in the destabilised region far beyond observations. In fact, we find that an awful lot of snow can indeed push the ice sheet back towards a stabile regime and stop the instability. In practice, this could be realized by an enormous redisposition of water masses – pumped out of the ocean and snowed onto the ice sheet at a rate of several hundred billion tons per year over a few decades,” said co-author Johannes Feldmann.

More than ten thousand wind turbines would be required to produce energy for the desalinization and transportation of sea water. “Putting up such a wind farm and the further infrastructure in the Amundsen Sea and the massive extraction of ocean water itself would essentially mean losing a unique natural reserve. Further, the harsh Antarctic climate makes the technical challenges difficult to estimate,” Feldmann explained, and he also stressed that this gigantic project would only make sense if the Paris Climate Agreement is kept.

“The West Antarctic Ice Sheet is one of the tipping elements in our climate system. Ice loss is accelerating and might not stop until the West Antarctic Ice Sheet is practically gone,” said Anders Levermann Photo: Shutterstock

Source: MTI – Hungarian News Agency

Further information: Phys.org

Hungarian developments may solve the problem of pharmaceutical residues worldwide

The filtering of pharmaceutical derivatives from water is a problem for almost the entire world. That was part of the reason for the international interest elicited at the Budapest Water Summit by the results of a National Competitiveness and Excellence Programme (NVKP) project led by the Geographical Institute of the Hungarian Academy of Science’s Research Centre for Astronomy and Earth Sciences, which cover the complete set of associated problems.

New Coca-Cola bottles made of recycled marine waste

Coca-Cola has presented its first bottle made by recycling marine waste. At its test facility, it has so far produced 300 bottles that contain 25% plastic waste fished out the Mediterranean Sea.

The main reforms and innovations that highly promote water security and sustainable development

Interview with Mr. Xavier Leflaive, Principal Administrator, Environment Directorate, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).

How recent political conflicts can be the consequences of insufficient water resources

Interview with Professor Aaron Wolf, Director of the Program in Water Conflict Management, Oregon State University (USA).

Budapest Water Summit attracts tremendous interest

A great many people were interested in the Budapest Water Summit – the importance of the event is attested by the fact that over 2,300 people from 118 countries had applied to attend the event, and along with the over 30 ministerial delegations, leaders of international organisations and multilateral financing institutions, as well as water industry experts have also attended.

BWS Bulletin – Daily report of the Budapest Water Summit 2019 – The third day

The Institute for Sustainable Development have summarized the third day of the Budapest Water Summit 2019 as part of the so-called BWS Bulletin.

János Áder: Young people would like to preserve Hungary as their grandparents saw it

Young people wish to live in a clean environment, that natural need is the message of the drawings, photos and posters they submitted to the competition, said President János Áder to journalists after the awards ceremony of the SDG for Kids competition at the Budapest Water Summit.

Papal message to the participants of the Budapest Water Summit 2019

BWS Bulletin – Daily report of the Budapest Water Summit 2019 – The second day

The Institute for Sustainable Development have summarized the second day of the Budapest Water Summit 2019 as part of the BWS Bulletin

BWS Bulletin – Daily report of the Budapest Water Summit 2019 – The first day

The Institute for Sustainable Development have summarized the first day of the Budapest Water Summit 2019 as part of the so-called BWS Bulletin.

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