Stopping Unstoppable Sea Level Rise by Team_ISI
Aug 7, 2017
Hi, this is a very ambitious proposal. As I read your plan I was surprised to see mention of the Fukushima ice wall. The reference cited is fairly old. More recent reports put the cost at 24.5 billion yen (221,284,000 USD) (https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/mar/09/fukushima-nuclear-cleanup-falters-six-years-after-tsunami) and, unfortunately, failures in the ice wall is "allowing new pathways for highly contaminated water to leak from the basements of the reactor buildings." (enformable.com/2016/09/ice-wall-fukushima-daiichi-damaged-recent-typhoons-japan/). There were concerns from the beginning about the potential for success with the ice wall (the original person making the proposal, Koide Hiroaki, decided to withdraw his support early on).
Nature presents some difficult hurdles to overcome with temperature manipulation plans. I am interested in learning how your proposal would manage potential technical challenges.
Aug 21, 2017
Thank you Pia for the more recent reference regarding the Fukushima nuclear plant cleanup. We updated our proposal to show that the actual cost of the containment ice wall ended up being only half the original estimate.
Aug 21, 2017
Glad to know, Saïd. Having followed the accident since 311, I find I'm a "stickler" when it comes to the details and facts. But, please also note that the ice wall is not a success as was touted by TEPCO. Thank you.
Sep 5, 2017
We were able, via email, to contact Dr. Roger Hooke, an expert glaciologist. Our exchange of emails with him was copied and is pasted below. We greatly appreciate his very graciously taking time to review our proposal in detail. Dr. Hooke is a Retired Research Professor at the Climate Change Institute and the Department of Earth Sciences at the University of Maine, Orono. Most of his work has been in the field of glacial geology and glaciology conducting research in the Canadian Arctic and Northern Sweden. He has authored several papers and books, including "Principles of Glacier Mechanics." Here is a link to read more about Dr. Hooke: http://climatechange.umaine.edu/people/profile/roger_leb_hooke. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Our initial attempt to contact Dr. Hooke (7-4-2015):. Dr. Roger LeB. Hooke. Climate Change Institute. & School of Earth and Climate Sciences. Orono, Maine.. Dear Dr. Hooke:.. A committee of judges at MIT has asked me to find a glaciology expert. who might be willing to comment on a proposal that has been submitted. to an MIT international contest for project proposals dealing with. climate change... It seems the proposal I co-authored regarding the Pine Island Glacier. in West Antarctica presents some complex dynamics, involving. temperature distribution at the glacier-seawater interface. The. glacier is vulnerable to rapid melting from warm seawater penetrating. through a narrow channel to its underside... See. https://www.climatecolab.org/web/guest/plans/-/plans/contestId/1301411/phaseId/1306751/planId/1319603.. and judges' request at. https://www.climatecolab.org/web/guest/plans/-/plans/contestId/1301411/phaseId/1309134/planId/1319603/tab/EVALUATION.. Would you be willing to talk to me for a few minutes if I were to call. you to get your comment? There are few people in the world who have. your kind of expertise in regard to glacier dynamics, so please. consider granting this small request... Thank you... Thomas Manaugh, PhD --------------------------------------------------------------- Dr Hooke’s Response to our Request (7-5-2015) > Tom:- There are glaciologists with far more experience with Antarctic glaciers than I, and they would be more appropriate consultants. Among my concerns are: 1. The flow of Pine Island glacier is up to 4 km/yr, which would make maintaining an open borehole somewhat problematic, and would redrilling every few years to keep the flow of cooled water in the place where it do most good. 2. I'd like to see some calculations (at least back-of-the-envelope type) to show how much water would have to be pumped to achieve the effect you desire. The water volume would presumably have to be comparable to the volume of ocean flow in under the Pine Island ice > shelf. You are trying to counter an inflow of nearly 400,000 m3/s (Jacobs et al., 2011, attached)! I also note that you misstate the meaning of the red color in your image of Pine Island Glacier. It is the zone of fast flow, not the extent of subglacial melting. Roger -------------------------------------------------------------- Our Response to Dr. Hooke (7-5-2015) Roger, Thank you so much for taking time to look at our proposal and to send us a very relevant reference article. You are too modest in your not rating yourself as a top glaciologist. You are definitely tops from our point of view. I will acknowledge your helpfulness to MIT's judging committee and post our correspondence in the comments section for our entry (after removing any email or phone number information). Please let me know if that is not OK with you. Yes, the bore holes will probably need to be re-bored numerous times over the course of years. That is a requirement that will raise the cost of the project, but that extra cost will be very small in comparison with costs associated with not taking actions to mitigate sea level rise. Over time, we might find clever ways to make bore holes faster and easier to maintain. If the glacier stops slipping so fast toward the sea, the bore holes will probably not need to be re-drilled so often. We will correct our mis-characterization of the red area shown in the graphic that maps water flow under the Pine Island Glacier. Good catch. The article by Jacobs et al helps us to understand better how huge volumes of warm seawater are melting the glacier so quickly. We are especially interested in the warm seawater that reaches the grounding line of the glacier because it causes a more-rapid-than-usual slipping of the glacier toward and into the sea. Our back-of-the-envelope estimate of the volume of warm seawater causing that rapid slipping puts it at about one percent of the flow of warm seawater estimated by Jacobs et al to be flowing under the glacier's shelf ice. Still, that one percent represents a huge volume of water that needs to be impeded in its flow toward the critical grounding line area. In round numbers, we estimate a measurable decrease in slipping rate could be achieved by injecting about 1.4 x 10^6 m^3 per day of cooled seawater into the channel. That volume of flow could be achieved by pumping seawater downward into injection wells at a velocity of 5 m/sec through pipes with combined cross-sectional areas equal to a single pipe with a diameter of 2 meters. In the channel, the colder and denser seawater would tend to build up day-by-day into a kind of "clot" that will impede the penetration of warm seawater. Though the clot would not constitute a permanent impediment, it would have a persisting effect on the density and temperature of the water in the part of the channel into which it would be continually injected. Over the course of a year, the volume of injected water would be (365x24x60x60 sec) x (5 m/sec) (pi x (1 m^2)) = 5.0 x 10^8 m^3. That is enough cooled seawater to fill a channel 25000 meters wide, 10 meters deep, and 2000 meters long. If that had too little effect, a larger flow of cooled seawater could be invoked via more pumping of cooled seawater down into more injection wells. We feel we can use existing technologies (e.g., sensitive detection of scraping sounds transmitted up through the glacier) to help locate drilling spots that are very near the glacier's grounding line. Modeling and simulation will be used to specify exact locations to continually inject adequate amounts of cooled seawater. That will be critical to the goal of creating a persisting effect on the temperature and density of the water in the channel at and near the grounding line. Sincerely, Tom