Lundi 22 Juillet 2024
taille du texte
Mercredi, 16 Novembre 2011 16:15

Artificial Urban Glacier to Cool Mongolian Capital

Rate this item
(0 Votes)

Artificial Urban Glacier to Cool Mongolian Capital

By Olivia Solon, Wired UK

Mongolia’s capital city, Ulan Bator, is planning to keep itself cool during the hot summer months by shunning air conditioning in favor of creating an enormous artificial urban glacier.

In a somewhat bonkers plan — first reported in the Guardian — the city of Ulan Bator will attempt to capture some of the cool winter temperatures in huge ice blocks that will slowly melt over the summer and cool down the city. The aim is to build artificial ice shields — or “naleds” — that occur naturally in far northern climates and can grow to be more than seven meters thick. They grow when river water pushes through cracks in the surface of the ice during the day and then freezes to add an extra layer of ice when night falls.

Engineering consortium EMI-ECOS will try to replicate this process by creating holes in the ice that is forming over the Tuul river. This will be repeated over and over again until the ice is much thicker than it would be if left alone.

As the Guardian reports, these “naleds” — also known as Aufeis — have been used in the past to create river crossings for tanks in North Korea and drilling platforms in Russia. Climate change is likely to melt permafrost from most of Central Asia, but some studies — including this one by geologist Robin Grayson — suggest that most naleds will survive and that they could be used to strengthen permafrost, protect biodiversity from climate change and create “cool parks” to combat urban heat islands of cities in summer heat-waves.

It is hoped that if the geoengineering trial is successful, the technique could be used in other northern cities to save on air conditioning costs.

Image: madpai/Flickr/CC


See Also:


French (Fr)English (United Kingdom)

Parmi nos clients