To combat the heat of global warming and urban centers, Mongolia will try to cool the city of Ulan Bator next summer by creating a giant block of ice this winter, reports Jonathan Watts at the UK Guardian. Costing the city nearly $300,000, the geoengineering trial aims to artificially create “naleds” – ultra-thick slabs of ice that occur naturally in far northern climes when rivers or springs push through cracks in the surface to seep outwards during the day and then add an extra layer of ice during the night. Many are more than 20 feet thick, so they melt much later than regular ice. Engineers will try to recreate this process by drilling bore holes into the ice beginning to form on a nearby river. The water will be discharged across the surface, where it will freeze. This process – effectively adding layers of ice – will be repeated regularly throughout winter. The resulting ice should cool and water the city as it slowly melts during the summer, reducing energy demand for air conditioners and providing an important source of water.
Mongolia bids to keep city cool with ‘ice shield’ experiment. Geoengineering trial aims to ‘store’ winter temperatures in a giant block of ice that will cool and water Ulan Bator in summer. London Guardian