Harvesting Water from Icebergs

It is a truly wonderful thing that countries got together to protect the Antarctic from any sort of commercialization, habitation, hunting, and generally being polluted, but I think it is high time the laws protecting Antarctica are revised to allow a world team to deal with the dangerous rate at which the ice is melting. It should be the United Nations Environmental Programme or a ‘not for profit world organization, hopefully springing from COP 19, that is formed to manage the waters of the world now. This is what we need:
  • The most obvious thing is to harvest the fresh, very oxygen-rich water coming off the icebergs, sometimes in drips, but very often torrents, continually causing sea levels to rise, and all that extra volume puts more pressure on the seafloor, triggering more frequent and severe earth shifts which trigger more frequent and severe tsunamis [1]. Also, since freshwater evaporates more readily than salt water, it adds to increased precipitation, resulting in more inland flooding along with coastline flooding and more frequent superstorms, as evidenced by this past year alone. Adding all this freshwater to the seas also has a negative effect on marine life [2].
  • Since more rock is now exposed due to melting ice, an Endothermic reaction is created, carrying the heat up the rock underneath the glacier, again hastening the melting.
  • I have had many discussions about how to harness the water coming off the icebergs when it is already melted, and have always been told that it is too difficult and dangerous due to weather conditions, logistics, etc., but the consequences of rising sea levels make it so worth the efforts of our scientists, engineers, and innovators, to find a way to put that freshwater into vessels and deliver it to the many people around the world who desperately need it, and away from where it will only harm us in the end, that I ask for this topic be addressed at COP 19.
  • The other way the ice is added to the sea levels is when the giant chunks of ice or ice islands break off from the main body of ice. [3] This is a tricky subject, because we, of course, should try and harness that freshwater ice before it melts into the ocean, but we don’t want to hasten the process unnecessarily, because that giant chunk of ice is still doing an important job in keeping the water around it cold. So the team managing the waters of the world will have to size up when best to either blow up icebergs and collect chunks of ice inside vessels and let the ice melt in them, or figure out how to melt the ice while on or near the iceberg and collect the water by tubes onto vessels, which then deliver it where most needed.
  • For instance, in the case of the giant ice island, at least four times the size of Manhattan, (100 sq. miles), which broke off from the Peterson Glacier in the Arctic in 2010, it was able to float to southern waters, melting and breaking up on route, we could have harnessed the ice before it added the megatons of fresh water to the sea. Perhaps we can do better with the one that broke off the same glacier in 2012.
  • Or with the giant ice sheet the size of Chicago, (278 square miles or 720 square kilometers) and as much as 2 kilometers deep, that just broke off the Pine Island Glacier in Antarctica, in July of 2013 (partly as a result of the deep ocean water getting warmer, going underneath the ice sheet, melting it from below, creating a growing gap between the ice sheet and the rock, allowing it to break free from the main ice sheet. It will probably move to warmer waters at a much slower rate due to its size, so let it continue to cool the oceans as long as possible before harvesting it. It was also holding back enormous ice sheets, so if they start to fall into the ocean, we are in for even more rising sea levels for sure if a world organization doesn’t step in now to manage things for us.
  • We could build inland canals from shorelines and rivers prone to flooding, create reservoirs, and direct the water there, which would be especially helpful when fighting the increasing number of forest fires around the world. Redirecting the water inland all around the world, (where practical to do so), will not only keep the sea levels from getting dangerously high but will serve the needs of communities and agriculture at the same time.
  • We need to get more aggressive in dealing with forest fires! There should be an international organization that is formed to aid countries that are having the most uncontrollable fires. We simply cannot allow them to burn as they do. National or world organizations need to concentrate more efforts and work as teams to put them out. It is heartbreaking to have people work so hard to cut down on carbon emissions, while we have forest fires raging for days and weeks, greatly increasing carbon levels, and making that snowball roll faster down the hill.
  • We also need to increase pumping the water out of the ocean and into desalinization plants and re-distributing it via pipelines and vehicles at a greater rate.
  • Local lawmakers should limit building too close to shorelines, and communities have to be more realistic when it comes to rebuilding in flood plains and near rivers, because things are probably going to get worse, and the same flooding is bound to repeat. Create parkland out of such areas and plant mangroves to anchor the shore.
  • The cost of massive flooding is not only monetary, but really, how many superstorms can the seas take before the amount of debris, sewage, chemicals, or even nuclear waste, etc., that can get washed out to sea during superstorms becomes too much for them and the seas and all the life in them start to die?
  • We need to ban any new building of nuclear plants on large bodies of water, or rivers that feed them. For instance, any plants on the ocean coastlines or Great Lakes in North America should be moved to smaller existing or man-made lakes where spills would not connect with and contaminate entire systems.
  • In the end, the cost of prevention will far outweigh the cost of having too much water where we don’t want it on so very many levels, so here’s to a really successful COP 19 and 20 to create strategies as a global team to manage the waters of the world! It is a more highly evolved society that works as one team and shares its resources. It is up to the United Nations, world and local leaders to lead the way, work with citizens around the world to redistribute water so it is helping us and not harming us, and that no one has to go without clean, fresh drinking water while it needlessly melts away into the seas.
We have the ability to redistribute water worldwide. Let’s do it! [1] The Antarctica Challenge – A Global Warning’ [2] The Antarctica Challenge – A Global Warning’ [3] The Antarctica Challenge – A Global Warning’