The Arctic ice sports a feature that isn’t well known but essential for the well-being of our planet. The frozen ice has a white surface that is able to reflect sunlight, keeping our planet cooler in the long run.
Since the global temperature continues to soar, the Arctic ice is vanishing at a fast pace, as the reflective ice is melting to blue water, which absorbs warmth from the sun and contributes to the melting process, maintaining a dangerous loop as more ice is lost every year.
Exploring daring alternatives
Previous research has already shown that the melting of sea ice will lead to dire consequences as climate cycles across the world are already affected. If the entire amount of available ice is lost, negative weather effects like floods, droughts, and heatwaves will take place.
Despite good intentions and several partnerships, the amount of greenhouse gas emissions has remained on the rise, prompting some researchers to look for desperate measures. A proposal backed by a Californian NGO argues that a small amount of reflective ice could be scattered across the Arctic ice, in an attempt to boost reflectivity.
The potential of geoengineering
Some scientists aren’t in favor of such a wide-scale intervention on the environment, which is called geoengineering, as they argue that the consequences of failure could be more severe than the actual problems. However, the amount of progress tied to climate mitigation is unnoticeable at best.
At its core, the plan involves the use of reflective material that could be placed on young ice layers during the summer to keep it safe. The added protection would allow the ice to become thicker in time, regaining its properties and contributing to a resurgence in the amount of ice present in the region.
Several other proposals are being analyzed, and more measures will be taken to limit the release of carbon dioxide in the future.