Real Ice Is Developing Technology To Refreeze The Arctic

Real Ice Is Developing Technology To Refreeze The Arctic - Carbon Herald
Source: Mollyroselee from Pixabay

A UK startup called Real Ice is currently working on technology that may help refreeze the rapidly melting Arctic ice.

While the concept may sound wild to some, the Welsh company has already gained approval for it from the United Nations, after taking part in its “for Tomorrow” accelerator.

As it were, melting glaciers and sea ice are among the most alarming effects of the climate crisis, resulting in rising sea levels, which threaten life on the planet as we know it. 

One way to address this impending catastrophe is by reducing the amount of CO2 already present in the atmosphere (carbon dioxide removal or CDR) and by slashing the amount of carbon we emit. 

But, as in the case of Real Ice, another approach is to address the melting ice directly and try to reverse the process. 

The Welsh startup is developing solutions to restore the Arctic ice, which has already shrunk by a whopping 95% in the last 30 years, by refreezing parts of it and increasing its thickness. 

“We’re trying to maintain, at the very least, the ice that we still have, which is roughly four million km² at the end of the summer. And if we can, we would love to restore what it was in the 1980s, which was over seven million km²,” says Andrea Ceccolini, CEO of Real Ice.

The startup’s technology is based on research from Arizona State University and the University of Washington and involves boring holes in the ice from underneath, so that water can be pulled up through them. 

Relevant: UN Latest Report Finds The World Is On Track For 2.5 – 2.9°C Of Warming

The water is then sprayed on top, removing the layer of snow, which prevents the ice from expanding during the winter, thus allowing the ice to grow thicker. 

But the initiative is by no means an easy feat. Not only is it the race against time that puts pressure on it, it’s also a question of funding. 

So far, the new UK company is bootstrapped and hopes to receive money from different funding mechanisms, including nature preservation investments and so-called ‘cooling credits’, which are similar to carbon credits, only they measure cooling potential instead of avoided or removed emissions. 

Read more: The World’s Carbon Budget To Reach 1.5°C Of Warming Is Now 250 Gigatons Of CO2e

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