The polar ice to solve human thirst?

Release time:2016/3/16 14:12:34

Whether or not you feel that, humans are more and more thirsty. According to the statistics, since the beginning of the 20th century global freshwater consumption has increased about 6 ~ 7 times, 2 times higher than the population growth and global currently has 1.4 billion people lack access to safe, clean drinking water, of which about 300 million people live in a state of extreme lack of water. Estimated that by 2025, the world will have nearly a third of the population, water shortage affected more than 40 countries and regions. In the shortage of fresh water resources is more and more today, some researchers have focused on the polar, they tried to pull the polar sea iceberg back, into a freshwater can relieve thirst.

Glacier is a large number of fresh water

Although polar rarely see rivers, but it has rich reserves of fresh water. The fresh water is basically sealed solid form, that is very spectacular glaciers. Ice water from the sea, but because of the cold polar sea water evaporation of water vapor quickly freezing on the ice. When water evaporates, only pure water vapor evaporation, the salt does not evaporate, therefore, the polar can be regarded as a natural seawater desalination base.

The earths total water resources of 1.4 billion cubic kilometers. But fresh water reserves accounted for only 2.53% of the global total water, and 68.7% of them belong to solid ice again, mainly distributed in the polar regions. Therefore, some researchers think that since the fresh water crisis, human development is a matter of time before the polar ice. To take advantage of the polar glaciers, the most convenient is the use of the collapse and fall off from the glaciers to the surface of an iceberg. The icebergs are very big, big, tens of millions of tons of common tip for millions of tons. According to the calculation, a 30 million - ton iceberg water can offer 500000 people a year.

A preliminary plan eventually run aground

In the early 1970 s, the French engineer George Maureen raises shipping tip to the desert from polar with bold ideas. In theory, pulling the iceberg is feasible. Although tip weight is large, the volume is big, but tip density less than water, so most of the iceberg is under the sea, some little dew in the sea. This phenomenon makes glacier water buoyancy is very big, easy to drag.

To the polar glacier to the desert area, Maureen also designed a heat shield, to cover the ice dew on the surface of the part, in order to prevent the iceberg in the process of drag to move too quickly melt. At first, although the idea in theory is simpler, also have strong support from the Saudi prince, but according to the technical level, to implement the plan needs to make very large and cant finish the tug, face after months of risk across the ocean. Although Maureen design the heat shield, but experts say such as tip from polar to Africa will be left. Because of the implementation is difficult and high risk, the plan ran aground eventually.

Computer simulations verify assumptions

After more than 30 years, everything has changed. In April 2011, the French dassault systems software company found from the literature idea of morin, and the computer have been carried out to verify its feasibility. Computer simulation of the first few times without success, analysis results show that the vortex in the sea may be trapped, tugboat and dangerous. Recently, researchers will tow icebergs depart date change from may to June, the computer simulation of a final success.

According to dassault systems software company computer simulations, a giant tug available 141 days to a 7 million - ton iceberg, from Canada Newfoundland to the canary islands on the west coast of Africa, only 38% of the iceberg will melt, left 4.34 million tons, can provide a town of about 70000 a year for fresh water. The entire project will cost 6 million pounds. According to the computer simulation of the ideal condition, this kind of get fresh water cost is high, the destination after fresh water per ton cost of about 1.38 pounds, much higher than the price of tap water, even higher than the price of desalination. Besides, needed for the actual cost may be higher than the cost of computer simulated.

Although computer simulation hauling the high cost of the iceberg, but after all, confirmed the feasibility of the iceberg, which greatly inspired the morin. Maureen, 86, although no longer young, but he is still a high-profile announced that it would try to tow an iceberg next year. He is going to a small piece of the iceberg to Australia from Antarctica, and hope to raise 2 million pounds for the project investment.

Debate the pros and cons from all walks of life

Many people support the idea of morin, they think human future hope is to solve the crisis of fresh water in glaciers in the polar regions. Although desalination can also solve the freshwater crisis, water desalination is a manual process, however, at present there are hard to ignore environmental problems, that is to downplay released after the concentrated brine to the waters near the pollution problem. The iceberg is a natural, there is no environmental pollution. Every year tens of thousands of huge iceberg separating from the glacier, dont need to go to the crack glaciers, hauling those natural iceberg floating on the ocean alone is enough. With global warming, people worry that the melting of the glaciers will make submerged by rising sea levels in some countries, and to the use of an iceberg can slow the rise of sea level. From this perspective, hauling tip is beneficial to the environment.

However, opponents say, hauling tip is likely to lead to some environmental crisis, because of hauling iceberg upsurge once appear, can cause damage to the polar ice. The icebergs from the polar hauling to arid regions, it is bound to change the distribution of global water vapor, long-term impact on the climate may be negative. In addition, some sea creatures would gather around the iceberg, forming a small ecosystem, hauling tip can alter the ecology of the polar waters near, and may even cause the extinction of some special species. No matter how to say, the implementation of human change nature plan should be cautious.