Climate Geoengineering Prizewinner: Refreeze the Arctic with a Big Mobile Submarine

Arctic Ice Maker Submarine
Arctic Ice Maker Submarine, concept video screenshot.

Guest essay by Eric Worrall

Seems obvious right? The ice is melting, so build a series of big mobile freezer boats to produce new blocks of ice.

Iceberg-making submarine aims to tackle global warming by re-freezing the Arctic

Alyn Griffiths

A team of designers led by Faris Rajak Kotahatuhaha proposes re-freezing sea water in the Arctic to create miniature modular icebergs using a submarine-like vessel, in a bid to combat climate change.
The Indonesian designer worked on the prototype with collaborators Denny Lesmana Budi and Fiera Alifa for an international competition organised by the Association of Siamese Architects.

“The main goal of this idea is to restore the polar ecosystem, which has a direct effect on the balance of the global climate,” said the designer, adding that in this scenario “it is better to prevent than cure“.

The submarine-like vessel would submerge to collect sea water in a central hexagonal tank. Turbines would then be used to blast the tank with cold air and accelerate the freezing process.

During this process, the vessel would return to the surface of the sea and the tank would be covered to protect it from sunlight. A system of reverse osmosis would be used to filter some of the salt from the water in order to speed up the process.

Once the water is frozen, the vessel would submerge again, leaving behind an “ice baby” with a volume of 2,027 cubic-metres. These miniature icebergs would then cluster together in a honeycomb pattern to form a larger ice floe.

Read more:

The concept video;

There is a slight flaw with this idea.

Refrigeration, reverse osmosis, pumping heat, all takes a lot of work. Both the latent heat of fusion extracted from the water to turn it into ice and the waste heat from the freezing process will have to be dumped somewhere.

If they dump the waste heat into the Arctic ocean, or the air, it will probably melt the ice their submarine just finished freezing.

Update (EW): tweaked the wording of the last few paragraphs.

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July 27, 2019 6:14 pm

The heat goes into the cold air making it warmer? I bet they don’t build one.

The Saint
Reply to  Eric Worrall
July 27, 2019 8:00 pm

This reminds me of that crazy space elevator idea. Both are fundamentally flawed concepts.

michael j allison
Reply to  The Saint
July 27, 2019 11:11 pm

Why will a space elevator not work?

Bryan A
Reply to  michael j allison
July 28, 2019 12:18 am

A space elevator could only work at the equator and the opposite end would need to be in a geostationary orbit. Otherwise the other end would want to move around too much. So the operator’s opposite end would need to be 22,000 miles or 35,000 Kilometers away. Or it would require compensation thrusters for stability and a constant supply of fuel to avoid the Coriolis Effect playing an influential role.

E J Zuiderwijk
Reply to  michael j allison
July 28, 2019 1:58 am

Have a look at angular momentum and ask the question where does the AM needed for a hoisted load come from and what happens if that does not occur.
A: the thing desintegastes in no time. And if somehow that needed angular momentum is provided when a load is shifted upwards, then the energy required makes the concept defeat itself.

Reply to  michael j allison
July 28, 2019 6:49 am

I don’t understand the details but I thought there was a large problem with large different electrical potentials. Maybe related but I also kind of remember a space shuttle letting out an experiment on some kind of long tether and the experiment getting zapped????


Randy Wester
Reply to  taz1999
July 28, 2019 7:36 am

Sufficiently strong and light cables are a long way off, if they’re even possible. I recall reading that steel wire’s weight would break itself at 62 miles length, maybe carbon nanotubes or aomething….?

The electric potential sounds interesting as a power source.

Gordon Dressler
Reply to  michael j allison
July 28, 2019 8:04 am

Actually, it is worse that Bryan A commented: the “space elevator cable” would need to extend significantly above geostationary orbital altitude unless a really large mass was attached at the end of the cable just slightly above geostationary altitude. By really large, I mean a mass that would something like 100 times more massive that the mass of the cable below it. This would be required such that the angular momentum—you might say outward-directed centrifugal acceleration, but that’s technically incorrect—of this mass AND resulting cable-tension torque on this mass would be sufficient to support (actually offset) the integrated angular momentum of, AND resulting integrated cable-tension torque AND gravity loading torque associated with the cable itself below geostationary altitude on the same mass. The cable would not be straight but would have a significant amount of curvature. The cable might suffer from significant oscillations (“whipping”) as wind-induced drag across atmospheric altitudes excites different vibrational modes is such a spring-mass system.

Finally, such a “space elevator” cable system would likely be able to support only an additional mass of perhaps .001% of the total system mass (i.e., the useful payload to orbit) without causing the orbital mechanics-related angular momentum and tension balances of the system to become unstable. I can only speculate that “tidal” torques from the Earth-sun-moon system might also develop long period oscillations in the cable, possibly leading to critical, diverging instabilities.

Wouldn’t it be fun to have to collect up 22,000+ miles (depending on the cable break point) of whatever super material comprises the cable after it falls to earth’s surface.

Jeffrey Broussard
Reply to  michael j allison
August 2, 2019 3:37 am

LOL. A tethered-space elevator would not work because of “problems.” The sheer amount of possible problems is too numerous to calculate for through engineering. Things like differential air pressure in the bottom rooms of a skyscraper versus the top rooms are things that architects and structural engineers can factor in, but making a functioning physical structure that stays penetrating our atmosphere while maintaining structural integrity against extreme differential conditions (air pressure, gravity, temperature, cosmic radiation, chemistry, etc…) is not practical or practically safe. We have enough difficulty making a space-shuttle that we feel is statistically safe enough to deal with all of those conditions. To make a structure that deals with all of those conditions on a consistent basis while keeping human lives safe just seems like a worse option. But! Who’s to say that Elon Musk couldn’t try it?

I think the wisest thing to do is just view the new generation of rockets as untethered elevators.

Reply to  The Saint
July 27, 2019 11:29 pm

Kota hatu haha , ha ha ha ! This has to be a joke name. It’s a spoof.

I mean no one would get an architect to design a scientific solution to a physical problem right?

Bryan A
Reply to  Greg
July 28, 2019 12:48 am

Another Great Idea by Captain Oblivious

Reply to  Greg
July 28, 2019 5:26 am

No Kotahatuhaha is a real indonesian surname

Paul of Alexandria
Reply to  The Saint
July 28, 2019 1:36 pm

All of the constraints of a space elevator are well known. It is somewhat beyond current materials, but nothing about it is “fundamentally flawed”.

Gordon Dressler
Reply to  Paul of Alexandria
July 28, 2019 4:35 pm

Isn’t that along the lines of “all of the forcing amplitudes and feedbacks of Earth’s climate system are well-known”? Both claims are made without a single controlled, system-encompassing experiment having been done to reveal gaps that are certain to be in statements of such hubris.

Reply to  robl
July 27, 2019 7:04 pm

So, they take the heat out of the water and radiate it back into the atmosphere, after adding the energy required to transfer the heat. But then again, those pushing this kind of nonsense have a tenuous grasp on such inconvenient fundamental concepts like the laws of thermodynamics.

Reply to  co2isnotevil
July 28, 2019 8:24 am

Better to do it the Futurama way — tow in icy comets from space & dump them periodically into the oceans. Hilarious:

Reply to  co2isnotevil
July 28, 2019 8:35 am

There you go, citing the so called “Laws of Thermodynamics” like they were reality or something. I will continue to believe in unicorn farts and foo-foo dust, thank you very much.

Reply to  oeman50
July 28, 2019 10:10 am

I believe that Sooty – whose puppet was Harry Corbett – used magical Oofle Dust for many years.

He even had a solution to droughts; dig a well!
Of course, in his well they found lemonade!

Auto – tongue as firmly in my cheek as the gallant Mr Kotahatuhaha’s tongue is in his.
But send grant money, in $100 bills, please.

Reply to  oeman50
July 28, 2019 1:07 pm

Yea, I know how controversial it is to claim that no one Joule is any more powerful at warming the surface than any other, especially since the IPCC invokes pixie dust to amplify the next Joule from the Sun to be 3-4 times more powerful at warming the surface than the average Joule from the Sun.

It’s too bad I can’t put this magic stuff in my gas tank and get 3-4 times more work out of each gallon of gasoline. Or even solve world hunger by feeding 3-4 times more people with the same amount of food.

Curious George
Reply to  robl
July 27, 2019 7:12 pm

They already did it in Indonesia. That’s why it is so cold there.

Reply to  robl
July 27, 2019 8:40 pm

Here’s an idea, we can cool the planet of we all leave our fridge doors open.

Do i get a prize?

Reply to  Eric Worrall
July 28, 2019 5:22 am

Refrigerator doors on a submarine?

Bryan A
Reply to  robl
July 28, 2019 12:22 am

You’d do better to float large white plastic islands. It would give seals and bears Haul Out space and increase albedo without requiring energy to freeze the ocean.

Reply to  Bryan A
July 28, 2019 2:29 am

and reuses all the nasty plastic and styrofoam(for a while) what a double header winner!!!! ding ding;-)

Doug Huffman
Reply to  Bryan A
July 28, 2019 5:12 am

Close, but no thermoplastic cigar for the waste heat. Close.

Reply to  Bryan A
July 28, 2019 3:06 pm

Now that is a good idea. Probably make them white spheres. Reflect sunlight
when the ice melts in the summer. Too big for bears, seals, and whales to eat.
Have to be indestructible and non-toxic materials.

Robert Young
Reply to  robl
July 28, 2019 2:58 am

Obviously they know nothing about Heat Transfer and Thermodynamics. Stupid.

Randy Wester
Reply to  robl
July 28, 2019 6:27 am

I think they plan to drliver the ice via solar freaking roadways

Procyon Bearsfoot
Reply to  robl
July 29, 2019 9:00 pm

the ice dispenser on the asteroid in Futurama made more sense

July 27, 2019 6:16 pm

You can tell that thermodynamics was not part of the architecture curriculum. Where in God’s name do they find these bozos.

Michael S. Kelly LS, BSA Ret.
Reply to  shrnfr
July 27, 2019 8:40 pm

It’s exactly like opening your refrigerator door to cool down a room. The refrigerator tries to maintain its low temperature by doing work to pump heat from the cold section to the ambient air, the net effect of which is to make the ambient air hotter by the amount of work added.

A much simpler approach would be to use an ice substitute, in the form of white, closed-cell polystyrene foam boards. They don’t have to be very thick, maybe half an inch. An 8 foot high stack of 40×8 foot sheets of half inch, 3 pound boards would only weigh only 7,680 pounds. That’s the size of a 2 TEU shipping container. It would cover 61,440 square feet of ocean (1.4 acres). The biggest container ships can carry >20,000 TEU. So one shipload could cover 14,000 acres! Actually, one would want to use it to cover the winter ice pack to prevent it from melting in summer time.

There, FIFT.

Reply to  Michael S. Kelly LS, BSA Ret.
July 27, 2019 9:56 pm

There’s a big problem with that.

The thickness of the ice depends on the air temperature. The ocean supplies heat to start the ice melting from the bottom up. Yep. As the ice starts getting thinner the temperature above the ice is still way below freezing. There’s no melt water on top of the ice, but the ice is getting thinner. It’s melting from the bottom up. That will continue until the temperature at the top of the ice removes heat sufficiently quickly to keep the bottom of the ice below the freezing point.

If you put insulation on top of the ice, you will actually speed up melting at first. On the other hand, ocean currents don’t move heat into the arctic that fast. I’m not sure if that’s enough to eventually melt all the ice. Well, yeah, if the insulation is sufficiently good, all the ice will melt eventually. It could take decades though.

Insulating the arctic would change the weather like crazy though. During the melt season, the arctic temperature follows the average very closely. That’s because of the melting ice. If you defeat that mechanism with insulation, the summer temperatures would probably swing as wildly as the winter temperatures.

Michael S. Kelly LS, BSA Ret.
Reply to  commieBob
July 27, 2019 10:57 pm

Well, wild, unpredictable swings would be fantastic! Much better than the assured extra warming of the loony-tunes submarine ice-maker. Just think of the extra grant money that would be needed to model the new and improved human climate change!

Bryan A
Reply to  commieBob
July 28, 2019 12:31 am

And the polystyrene at that thickness couldn’t support the weight of a Polar Bear or Seal without berating apart. Also the pressure from ice floes would grind them to pieces. Suddenly your big styrene sheets become styrene beads and pieces

Reply to  Michael S. Kelly LS, BSA Ret.
July 28, 2019 5:29 am

Thats why heat pumps and airconditioners add to the urban heat island.

Reply to  Michael S. Kelly LS, BSA Ret.
July 28, 2019 7:47 am

Why not cover the winter ice with aluminium foil (shiny side up) to reflect all the heat back to space. Eliminates the problem of plastics contamination.
I once seen a solar room heater (much hyped by the inventor and friends) that actually pumped out noticeably warmer air. Problem was, it was placed on the inside of a sunny window.
Common sense seems not so common any more.
Comment from a common man (not always sensible.)

Gordon Dressler
Reply to  Rick
July 28, 2019 4:55 pm

Most of the active cooling at the poles is the result of their surfaces (ice and water, bit of land in Antarctica) radiating heat to the night sky that, IIRC, has an effective blackbody temperature (absent clouds) of -30 to -50 deg-C, coupled with evaporative cooling at the water surfaces. This occurs when the Sun is below the horizon or very low on the horizon at each pole . . . that is, most of the year.

An aluminum foil covering would compromise the cooling of land and floating ice that results otherwise from direct radiation to the night sky, likely resulting in an overall annually-average warming of the poles.

Clyde Spencer
July 27, 2019 6:18 pm

“There is a slight flaw with this idea – what do they plan to do with the waste heat?”

Where do they plan to get the energy for the refrigeration? Photovoltaic is problematic because the Arctic is notoriously cloudy, and the sun is usually low on the horizon, meaning very little energy.

How about using fossil fuels? Are our college graduates getting dumber?

Reply to  Clyde Spencer
July 28, 2019 12:01 am

“Where do they plan to get the energy for the refrigeration?”

Easy peasy. From a perpetual motion machine.

Bryan A
Reply to  Clyde Spencer
July 28, 2019 12:34 am

Nuclear Power. But trying to make ice in the arctic is a waste of energy

Clyde Spencer
Reply to  Bryan A
July 28, 2019 10:30 am

How about nuclear? There is no known practical process for converting fission directly to electricity. All functioning reactors use the heat of fission to boil water. The resulting steam runs a turbine, which runs an electrical generator. The end product of the steam is condensed water, which is still very hot. It has to be disposed of, thereby adding heat to either the water or air.

Because fresh water is in short supply in the Arctic ocean, salt water will have to be used in a heat exchanger. It will have to be isolated from the neutron flux to avoid creating radioactive nuclides. Boiling salt water is highly corrosive, meaning short life-spans for the circuit containing the boiling water. Salt will be concentrated in the salt water circuit, so it will have to be disposed of and replaced with fresh salt-water, either continuously or periodically. The expelled salt water will add heat to the water and change the salinity, thereby affecting life forms in the vicinity.

So, I agree with Ralph, a perpetual motion machine is the only practical solution. 🙂

Bryan A
Reply to  Clyde Spencer
July 28, 2019 12:37 am

I suppose that, since salty water can be colder without freezing, a solution could be desalination. Are there any salt removal processes that don’t create heat as a byproduct?

July 27, 2019 6:28 pm

God…I chose the wrong career
people actually get paid to come up with this crap all the need is enough to make a million km/sq every year

July 27, 2019 6:31 pm

What’s the worst that could happen?

Um, increased albedo triggers a new glacial epoch.

Tom Halla
July 27, 2019 6:32 pm

Yeah, it should work about as well as cooling down an apartment by leaving the refrigerator door open.

July 27, 2019 6:33 pm

Bedwetters never bother with thermodyndamics, physics, and cost/benefit analyses. It’s beneath them.

July 27, 2019 6:34 pm

… the waste heat from the freezing process, will have to be dumped somewhere.

Sounds kinda obvious don’t it.

Gunga Din
Reply to  commieBob
July 28, 2019 7:27 am

Hide it in the ocean.

Go Home
July 27, 2019 6:35 pm

Well what would they use to power this sub. Would have to be nuclear to be efficient.

Diesel? Unthinkable.

Maybe electric powered by umbilical cords to solar arrays or windmills?

Of course these folks just don’t learn, they will never beat mother nature.

Reply to  Go Home
July 28, 2019 5:24 am

A solar powered submarine!
Now I know why I always check this site!

July 27, 2019 6:37 pm

I’d Let Nature run it’s course and save all that effort for nothing.

Dan Cody
July 27, 2019 6:45 pm

If the I.C.E. is melting,then the trouble at the border is going to get much worse.

Bryan A
Reply to  Dan Cody
July 28, 2019 12:41 am

Build a wall and keep all the ice from floe-ing out

Andy Espersen
July 27, 2019 6:47 pm

Ha – Ha – Ha – Ha

July 27, 2019 6:49 pm

Neither the article nor the video address power requirements. Nuclear? Solar? Unicorn farts? Magic?

James Clarke
July 27, 2019 6:49 pm

I have a better idea. Let the AMO continue its transition to its cold phase and watch Mother Nature make scary amounts of ice in the Arctic, without humans doing a thing. Of course, there are no huge profits to be made with my solution. No one will be promoted or win a Nobel Peace Prize. No one will get their mug on the front page of the New York Times or on CNN. I guess that make my idea completely unacceptable.

One more thing…How are these submersible ice-cube makers powered?

July 27, 2019 6:56 pm

I know! they could hide it in the ocean when they submerge, shove it down there with all the other missing heat right ?

Rich Davis
Reply to  southerncross
July 27, 2019 8:40 pm

You beat me to it southerncross. That’s the obvious solution, isn’t it?

Let’s give credit where credit is due, it should be called the Trenberth Cycle heat engine. Powered by non-GMO, 100% organic, fair trade, gluten-free unicorn flatulence and hiding the missing heat in the depths of Davey Jones’ Locker, the climate catastrophe will finally be averted!

tom s
July 27, 2019 6:58 pm

What is wrong with these idiots? Why do they like ice/death so much?

July 27, 2019 6:59 pm

The shipping magnates won’t be happy about that one. They are all rooting for Global Warming (Alarum! Alarum!) to open the Northwest Passage.

Anyone care to hazard a wild guess who would fund the protests against these ice producing submarines?

July 27, 2019 6:59 pm

Refrigeration, reverse osmosis, pumping heat, all takes a lot of work. Both the latent heat of fusion extracted from the water to turn it into ice, and the waste heat from the freezing process, will have to be dumped somewhere.

Details, details!
Is that all you have to worry about. For gaud’s sake these people have important work to do — build a boat and save the planet.
And al you can worry about is details — really!

< /sarc >

Reply to  tom0mason
July 27, 2019 7:11 pm

And that latent heat of fusion is ~80 calories = 80 times as much as it takes to change the temperature 1 degree.

July 27, 2019 7:04 pm

Did they think about the efficiency of the process involved? Nuclear conversion to electrical power is only about 35% efficient, the other 65% gets dumped in the water, In this case it is right below the ice cubes they are making. Then there is the added loads for cooling all of the equipment and the heat they generate as required to make the electricity to run the big refrigerator or the fans needed they talk of using to make these ice cubes.

Haven’t done the calculations, however I seriously doubt it is even worth the effort.

July 27, 2019 7:10 pm

I see a Darwin Award coming up

July 27, 2019 7:19 pm

“….the Association of Siamese Architects….” This is how stereotypes begin.

Len Werner
July 27, 2019 7:23 pm

Aw c’mon, guys; accept the humor of the suggestion. In the spirit of Alan Jackson and Jimmy Buffett–‘It’s April First Somewhere’. There might even be a hint in the name of one of the contributors–it includes a few haha’s.

Tim Beatty
July 27, 2019 7:26 pm

This would work if the ice floated to the surface and reflected more heat back into space than was spent on its creation.

Reply to  Tim Beatty
July 28, 2019 5:29 am

“Floating” ice, come on, we’re trying to be realistic here.

Thomas Englert
July 27, 2019 7:37 pm

Pikecrete would be a better “solution.” Giant aircraft carriers, etc.

Richard of NZ
Reply to  Thomas Englert
July 28, 2019 4:35 am

But where do they get all the fibre (wood pulp in the original) from? Even at the handleable 4% fibre content one would need a lot of pulp or other suitable fibre.

Craig from Oz
Reply to  Richard of NZ
July 28, 2019 5:02 pm

Tisk, Richard.

Wood is a Re-newable. It grows on trees and trees are good to chop down. Just ask the UK power industry.

Tired Old Nurse
July 27, 2019 7:40 pm

The graphic for this article should have been an infinite number of copies of the zombie with the burning hair.

July 27, 2019 7:44 pm

“If they dump the waste heat into the Arctic ocean, or the air, it will probably melt the ice their submarine just finished freezing.”

The Arctic atmosphere temperature is barely high enough to melt ice.
It has been long known that the seawater does the melting and that storms and winds are the most destructive to Arctic ice.

I am reminded of the phrases “shoveling sand against the tide” and “What fools these mortals be”.

David Chappell
July 27, 2019 7:45 pm

Indonesians working on a project for the Association of Siamese (Thai) Architects. Lots of polar experience there.

Shoki Kaneda
July 27, 2019 7:46 pm

Someone was absent when thermodynamics was covered.

July 27, 2019 7:53 pm

It’s like they’re living in a video game.

Gerald Machnee
July 27, 2019 8:20 pm

Why don’t they start this week in Europe and change the heat into ice there.

Reply to  Gerald Machnee
July 27, 2019 10:56 pm


It will be the first and only 90 degree day today! I’ve got enough of -2 to +5°C weather here.

Andre Den Tandt
July 27, 2019 8:39 pm

This idea sure would have legs: put some dies in the top layer of ice, vary the shape off the ice-blocks and you could get a floating puzzle with a mega-picture of heroic ACC fighters like Al Gore or Michael Mann.

John Hultquist
July 27, 2019 8:47 pm

California billionaire Tom Steyer will write a big check to this crew, and then
all you deniers will be crying in warm beer.

July 27, 2019 8:57 pm

I think the idea here is not that they’re making the world cooler with a refrigeration process, but that by increasing the amount of ice in the Arctic they’re reflecting more sunlight / heat into space.

Steve Reddish
Reply to  Sean
July 27, 2019 10:57 pm

Sean, two problems with your suggestion:
1) Insolation has very little heating affect on arctic waters due to the very low angle of incidence. During the summer more heat would be input into Arctic waters by these submarines than would be reflected away by the ice created.
2) Water exposed to the atmosphere is cooled by evaporation. The ice cubes would also radiate less heat than the water covered by that ice would.

Result: water underneath the created ice would end the summer warmer than under nearby ice-free areas.

Kurt in Switzerland
Reply to  Sean
July 27, 2019 11:06 pm

I think the idea is to scrape the bottom of the barrel for the most gullible left. Perhaps they’ll strike it rich if they persevere.

July 27, 2019 9:01 pm

Whatever happened to turning the dial on the globe’s thermostat with these climate changers? They’re a fickle flighty bunch with no stamina it seems. Focus chaps focus!

LOL@Klimate Katastrophe Kooks
July 27, 2019 11:42 pm

Did everyone else miss the fact that the video purports to stop sea level rise by adding ice to water?

Ice cubes in a glass, glass filled to the brim with water… when the ice melts, the water level won’t change.

There’s a reason ice floats, after all.

These modern idiots and their useless college degrees are dumber than 4th graders of the past. The difference is, 4th graders don’t get research grants worth millions of dollars to build their unicorn-farting-pixie-dust ideas.

Bryan A
Reply to  LOL@Klimate Katastrophe Kooks
July 28, 2019 12:47 am

You could do it that way but it would need to involve lifting the newly formed ice blocks onto land. Perhaps air lifting them to inland reservoirs and parched areas like the Sahara and Gobi

LOL@Klimate Katastrophe Kooks
Reply to  Bryan A
July 28, 2019 1:57 pm

I believe you’ve missed the point, Bryan A. Ice melting while it is in water will not raise the water level. So the video purporting to stop sea level rise by creating sea-ice simply won’t work.

On top of that, the work required to desalinate the water and remove latent heat would dump even more heat into the environment, causing any existing ice to melt even faster. They’d literally be heating the Arctic, while claiming that they’re cooling it… but this wouldn’t be the first time science-denying climate alarmists came up with a solution which did the exact opposite of what they wanted it to do.

In fact, even the underlying premise of CAGW is a result of an inversion of reality based upon a flawed understanding of physics. Particle physics shows that CO2, above ~288 K, is a net atmospheric coolant.
All radiative emission to space is, by definition, a cooling process. The only way our planet can shed energy is via radiative emission to space.

N2 and O2, comprising ~99% of the atmosphere, are homonuclear diatomics and therefore have no net magnetic dipole, rendering them unable to effectively emit (or absorb) IR. Thus the only way they can cool is via conduction by contact with a cooler surface, or via transfer of their translational mode energy to the vibrational mode quantum state energy of radiative molecules.
The radiative cooling of air via solely translational mode energy converting to radiation
CO2{v20(0)} (at 288K+) + CO2{v20(0)} (at 288K+) -> CO2{v20(0)} + C02{v21(1)} -> CO2{v20(0)} + CO2{v20(0)} + 667.4 cm-1

You’ll note the above interaction is a direct conversion of translational mode energy (which we perceive as temperature) to 14.98352 µm radiation. This directly cools the air, and the effect is significant, since nearly all the translational mode energy is converted to radiation, leaving the CO2 molecules at a very low temperature, whereupon they absorb energy by colliding with other atmospheric constituents. The effect begins taking place significantly at ~288 K, the temperature at which the majority of the molecules will have sufficient translational mode energy to convert to vibrational mode energy.

288 K also happens to be the stated average global temperature… that is not a coincidence, it is a mechanism long known, partly a result of CO2 radiative emission ramping up at ~288 K. As CO2 concentration increases, this effect will become more pronounced, increasingly damping any temperature excursions above ~288 K by increase of radiative emission via this interaction, and below ~288 K by reduction of radiative emission via this interaction.

It is not necessary for CO2{v20(0)} to collide with another CO2 molecule for this interaction to take place, any other molecule will do… the Equipartition Theorem dictates that all atmospheric constituents at the same temperature will have the same translational mode energy. So in reality, the above interaction could be represented thusly:
X (at 288K+) + CO2{v20(0)} (at 288K+) -> X + C02{v21(1)} -> X + CO2{v20(0)} + 667.4 cm-1
where X is any atmospheric molecule.

Further, you’ll note that if a CO2 molecule is already in the CO2{v21(1)} vibrational mode quantum state, a collision at just 0.1 K higher temperature (ie: ~288.1 K) can excite it to the CO2{v22(2)} state, whereupon it can emit a 14.97454 µm photon to de-excite to the CO2{v21(1)} state, and a 14.98352 µm photon to de-excite to the CO2{v20(0)} state.

Even further, you’ll note that if a CO2 molecule is already in the CO2{v22(2)} vibrational mode quantum state, a collision at just 0.1 K higher temperature (ie: ~288.2 K) can excite it to the CO2{v23(3)} state, whereupon it can emit a 14.96782 µm photon to de-excite to the CO2{v22(2)} state, a 14.97454 µm photon to de-excite to the CO2{v21(1)} state, and a 14.98352 µm photon to de-excite to the CO2{v20(0)} state.

This implies that for temperatures above ~288 K, more of the translational energy of atmospheric molecules will flow to CO2 vibrational mode quantum state energy, rather than vibrational mode quantum state energy of CO2 flowing to translational energy of other atmospheric molecules, simply for the fact that at and above that temperature, the combined translational energy of two colliding molecules is sufficient to excite the CO2 vibrational modes. This increases the time duration of CO2 vibrational mode quantum state excitation and therefore the probability that CO2 will radiatively emit, breaking LTE. Therefore the energy flow is to CO2, not from it.

In other words, at and above ~288 K, the combined translational mode energy of two molecules is higher than C02{v21(1)} vibrational mode energy, and therefore energy will flow to CO2 from other atmospheric molecules’ translational mode energy during molecular collision, simply because CO2 can radiatively emit that energy and break LTE, rather than that energy flowing back to other molecules.

You’ll note that’s diametrically opposite to the claimed mechanism by which CO2 purportedly causes global warming. Liberals tend to invert reality, and rely upon the low standard of education to sustain that inversion’s claims.
Satellites see CO2 and (a bit of) water vapor radiating at the temperature of the lower stratosphere (at the ‘characteristic-emission surface’ altitude, or just less than one optical depth from TOA for any given wavelength) all over the planet. This is because ozone (O3, excited by incoming solar radiation) and collisional processes excite nitrogen (N2) to its {v1(1)} (symmetric stretch) vibrational mode, and N2 then transfers energy to the {v3(1)} (asymmetric stretch) mode of CO2 via collision as shown in the image, whereupon the vibrationally excited CO2 partially de-excites by dropping from the {v3(1)} (asymmetric stretch) mode to either the {v1(1)} (symmetric stretch) mode by emitting a 10.4 µm photon, or to the {v20(2)} (bending) mode by emitting a 9.4 µm photon.

This is the same method by which a CO2 laser works… the laser filling gas within the discharge tube consists of around 10–20% carbon dioxide (CO2), around 10–20% nitrogen (N2), and a few percent hydrogen (H2) and/or xenon (Xe), and the remainder helium (He). Electron impact vibrationally excites the N2 to its first vibrational mode quantum state {v1(1)}, the N2 collides with CO2, the CO2 becomes excited in the asymmetric stretch vibrational mode quantum state {v3(1)}, and de-excites to its {v1(1)} or {v20(2)} vibrational modes by emission of 9.4 µm or 10.4 µm radiation (wavelength dependent upon isotopic composition of the CO2 molecules) as described above. The helium is used to fully de-excite the CO2 to the {v20(0)} ground state after it’s radiatively de-excited to maintain population inversion (which is necessary for stimulated emission), but this is unimportant to the process of energy transfer from vibrationally excited N2 to CO2 in the atmosphere. The process by which the N2 becomes vibrationally excited (in the case of a CO2 laser via electron impact; in the atmosphere via translational-to-vibrational collisional processes and via vibrational-to-vibrational collisional processes with solar-excited O3) is similarly unimportant… the concept of energy flowing from N2 to CO2 is the same. Laser wavelength can be tuned by altering the isotopic ratio of the carbon and oxygen atoms comprising the CO2 molecules in the discharge tube, with heavier isotopes resulting in longer wavelength emission.

The Boltzmann Factor shows that ~10.26671% of N2 molecules are in the N2{v1(1)} excited state at 288 K due to collisional (t-v) processes. That’s 195 times more excited N2 molecules than all CO2 molecules (vibrationally excited or not).

Nicholas McGinley
July 27, 2019 11:48 pm

The stupid, it freezes!

Coeur de Lion
July 27, 2019 11:52 pm

Rajak Ka Ha ha ha ha ha?

Dennis Gerald Sandberg
Reply to  Coeur de Lion
July 28, 2019 10:29 am

Tax dollars at work? Surely not. Spoof. No one anywhere is THAT stupid.

Paul Kolk
July 28, 2019 12:31 am

Michael Kelly at 8.40 pm
My mental arithmetic gets me to 576 lbs, not over three tons.
Just checking!

Patrick MJD
July 28, 2019 12:35 am

Takes lots of energy to artificially freeze water.

July 28, 2019 12:50 am

The very first time I heard about this concept of geoengineering I was a teen and read some book talking about how the Russians had proposed to spray soot all over the arctic to cause the ice melt. Seemed a little nuts.

I wish they’d make up their mind though.

M__ S__
July 28, 2019 12:53 am

Do any of these clowns know any basic math?

July 28, 2019 1:33 am

“Kotahatuhaha” ha ha ha ha ha.

I really hope it’s a hoax, but I invoke Poe’s law. You simply cannot tell. Real climastrology is knows for emitting such idiocies at a much higher than expected, alarming, accelerating rate.

E J Zuiderwijk
July 28, 2019 1:52 am

Haha. They call the ships ‘Arks’. And the heat generated by the refrigerators is dumped in, eh, the ocean waters.

July 28, 2019 2:40 am

the vidclip was prob what got the prize not the feasibility of it.
reminded me of the proposed mars habitat vid clips
all so nice and secondlifey
realitys going to be a whole lot different;-)

July 28, 2019 2:41 am

im scared to ask..if that…was the winner
how bad were the rest?
and what dippydog paid him? how much?

July 28, 2019 3:02 am

just get parliament to write new laws of thermodynamics.

problem solved

Reply to  MatrixTransform
July 28, 2019 5:44 am

Please don’t give the four Demo Morons any further ideas.

July 28, 2019 3:21 am

Hmm, that won’t stop the wind direction which is the biggest problem.

“We found that these patterns can explain in large part why the ice cover decreased so much more rapidly after 2000. Wind patterns depend on the position of major high-pressure and low-pressure systems. We discovered that months with very little ice cover and high temperatures corresponded with crucial variations in the wind patterns,” explains Mr Sorteberg.

john harmsworth
Reply to  richard
July 29, 2019 1:02 pm

How about a dose of reality? Open water allows more disturbance of the surface and more ocean heat escapes to atmosphere. This sustains the open water until the ocean surface cools to a temperature at which the ice begins to grow again in spite of the wind. This is why the open ice persists for years before the situation reverses. The ice free, windy period slowly causes ice drifts and folds which become more resistant to the wind and waves. After many years we will find the surface area that persists through the summer is increasing because it is thicker, older ice. Combined with the now colder water temperature the ice surface area begins to grow year on year once again.

john harmsworth
Reply to  richard
July 29, 2019 1:03 pm

Once again, posts not showing up, Mod.

Bruce Cobb
July 28, 2019 3:48 am

Another stupid-on-steroids brain farty idea which would accomplish nothing except cost boatloads of money. My suspicion with all of these “genius” ideas is that they aren’t actually serious. Because the default “solution” is always there, which is to cut “carbon” emissions. So in a way, the wilder and more expensive the geoengineering idea is, the better. “Don’t like my geoengineering idea? Fine. Then stop using fossil fuels. The choice is yours.”

July 28, 2019 4:02 am

That old commercial about margarine tasting as good as butter keeps popping up. At the end, it’s thunder, lightning and critters scattering to the four winds.


There’s another, and very, very wise old saying: Be careful what you wish for. You might get it.

July 28, 2019 4:30 am

Did they get a government (taxpayer) grant for this work?

July 28, 2019 4:32 am

I have just spent 279 nanoseconds analysing the economics of this scheme.
It is with great pleasure that I announce that it is an absolute crock of sh*t.

Sky King
July 28, 2019 4:58 am

Ice 9 was invented back in the 60s. The problem back then was it was a runaway chain reaction. But it could be improved over what Kurt Vonnegut conceived.

Jeff Id
July 28, 2019 5:08 am

Shockingly stupid.

July 28, 2019 5:30 am

So long as they never come up with something that might actually work then they can do no real harm. We should applaud this scheme.

Steve Reddish
Reply to  Robin
July 28, 2019 9:05 am

Wrong! They can do the real harm of wasting gobs of taxpayer money.
Now, if some billionaire wants to finance this scheme with his/her own fund, then great! The world would benefit from both a little more CO2 and a little more warming.


R Taylor
July 28, 2019 6:23 am

There might be the makings of a joke here. Selling refrigerators to inhabitants of the Arctic, or something like that.

Nick Schroeder
July 28, 2019 6:28 am


One popular geoengineering strategy proposed for countering imaginary global warming/climate change is through reducing net solar heating by increasing the earth’s albedo.

This increase is accomplished by various physical methods, e.g. injecting reflective aerosols into the atmosphere, spraying water vapor into the air to enhance marine cloud brightening, spreading shiny glass spheres around the poles with the goal of more reflection thereby reducing the net amount of solar energy absorbed by the atmosphere and surface and cooling the earth.

More albedo and the earth cools.

Less albedo and the earth warms.

No atmosphere means no water vapor or clouds, ice, snow, vegetation, oceans and near zero albedo and much like the moon the earth bakes in that 394 K, 121 C, 250 F solar wind.

These geoengineering plans rely on the atmosphere cooling the earth thereby exposing the error of greenhouse theory which says the atmosphere warms the earth and with no atmosphere the earth becomes a -430 F frozen ball of ice.

Zero greenhouse effect, Zero CO2 global warming and Zero man caused climate change.

July 28, 2019 8:14 am

Arctic sea ice extent at lowest for date again today… looks like we might be needing these!

Reply to  griff
July 28, 2019 8:37 pm

As usual Griff, you ignore the part where the CURRENT sea ice extent is well above average for the Interglacial period.

You have been shown a lot of published papers attesting this, yet you go on with your lies and distortions over and over, you are not here for the reality but promote a delusion for the purpose of political propaganda.

john harmsworth
Reply to  griff
July 29, 2019 1:14 pm

And what are the real world consequences of that, Griff? Maybe you could go to the Arctic and interview the polar bears. There area a record number of them apparently.

July 28, 2019 8:59 am


This is right up there with the old proposal that would remove air pollution from the Los Angeles basin by creating tunnels through the San Gabriel mountains, then employ giant fans to suck the polluted air from the basin and blow it to the desert.

July 28, 2019 9:11 am

Shouldn’t it be “The Association of Conjoined Architects?”

July 28, 2019 9:25 am

The thermodynamics of this proposal makes it totally foolish. The energy demand for the heat of fusion for such as ice floe combined with the available efficiency of any refrigeration method far outweigh any possible benefit.

I do like the idea of desalination in the proposal, in that it is effectively making MYI and it is reasonably configured to make a block more than 3 meters thick. These features would at least make a floe that is likely more resistant to melting than thin FYI.

In principle, I think geoengineering grossly overestimates mans influence on the environment. Every proposal I have seen uses gross amounts of energy for negligible potential benefit.

Nevertheless, in the interest of saving the world, I propose a few revisions to this scheme that will improve the energy useage.

Ignore the plan to refrigerate the ice and control its size and shape. Use a nuc-sub to desalinate the sea water and pump it onto the ice surface during the midst of the winter when radiation to the night sky will do the freezing. (Think giant sprinkler). Stay at one spot until your AMYI (Anthropogenic Multi-Year Ice) segment is 6 – 10 meters or so thick [optimization calculation needed here], therefore resistant to annual meltout, and then move to a new spot.

A gang of robotic AMYI subs could be coordinated to form ice dams or corrals to influence the movement of larger FYI fields. Some carbon fiber, or carbon nanotube, ropes can be use to tie the segments together, improving the tensile strength of the AMYI. Annual refurbishment of the field can create persistent islands for research. Solar panels can be used to shade the ice during the summer and power the motors to position the field in the most advantageous locations.

Then you can control shipping and TAKE OVER THE WORLD…..Ahem.

Clyde Spencer
Reply to  Crashex
July 28, 2019 10:48 am

Didn’t I see this plan in an episode of Pinky and The Brain?

Reply to  Clyde Spencer
July 28, 2019 11:45 am

Oh yeah. A reference to my hero. Thanks so much.

July 28, 2019 9:41 am

Why put the foam polystyrene sheets in the arctic where they reflect little heat from a low sun? Much more effective to put them in the pacific ocean at the equator if you want to cool the planet.

Right-Handed Shark
July 28, 2019 9:46 am

Dear Mr. Kotahatuhaha, if you manage to find someone willing to finance these vessels, please let me know as I have many, many bridges for sale.

Michael H Anderson
July 28, 2019 10:44 am

In the immortal words of Johann Sebastian Bach, what the fugue? What the hell do we “need” that ice for? Are we seriously at the point of discussing *preventing* the end of the last Ice Age?

July 28, 2019 2:42 pm

If you really want more ice in the Arctic Ocean it would be vastly simpler to divert the Mississippi into the Hudson Bay or Mackenzie River. That would freshen the Arctic Ocean nicely and freeze it up solidly.

Nick Schroeder
July 28, 2019 4:01 pm

Elsewhere accused me of being stuck with 70’s science, out of date & touch.

Arrhenius proposed the RGHE in 1896. Spencer Weart noted that Savante’s contemporaries considered him full of beans back then. In 1909 R. W. Wood debunked RGHE through experimentation. Classical science back when it had some semblance of integrity.

RGHE is over 100 years old. How current is that?

Now for something completely contemporaneous: UCLA Diviner mission.

Point the First
They consider 71.4 F to be the earth’s “average” temperature, about 22 C. That doesn’t mesh w/ IPCC’s & WMO’s 15 C or Trenberth/NOAA’s 16 C.

Point the Twoth
The moon is blazing hot on the lit side and bitter cold on the dark because it has not an insulating atmosphere like the earth.
The extremely obvious corollary is that without the atmosphere the earth would be much like the moon (Nikolov & Kramm) blistering hot on the lit side and bitter cold on the dark.
The insulating properties is how come the surface is warmer than the ToA just like a house.
The 30% reflective albedo created and sustained by the atmosphere cools the earth compared to no atmosphere.

And RGHE takes it right in the shorts!

There are three key environmental factors that set the Moon apart from Earth: its lower gravity,
its virtual lack of an atmosphere, and the extreme temperature fluctuations experienced on its surface.

With the exception of Mercury, the Moon has the most extreme surface thermal environment of any planetary body in the solar system. At the lunar equator, mean surface temperatures reach almost 400K (260.6 ºF) at noon and then drop to below 100K (-279.4 ºF) during the night. For comparison, the mean surface temperature on Earth is a temperate 295K (71.6 ºF).

The Earth and Moon each receive the same flux of solar radiation; the important difference is that the Moon doesn’t have an atmosphere to insulate its surface. In addition to this the lunar day/night cycle lasts ~1 month (compared to 24 hours on Earth). Both of these factors are key in producing the extreme range of temperatures experienced on the Moon.

Patrick MJD
Reply to  Nick Schroeder
July 28, 2019 7:03 pm

“Nick Schroeder July 28, 2019 at 4:01 pm

Elsewhere accused me of being stuck with 70’s science, out of date & touch.

Arrhenius proposed the RGHE in 1896.”

I have always been told, usually by alarmists, that he proved the RGHE via experimentation. I have never been able to find out what that experiment involved and how he setup a lab to do it. So, he just proposed that there might be a RGHE?

July 28, 2019 5:30 pm

A submarine that makes giant hexagonal icebergs.

is there any problem that Minecraft can’t solve?

Caig from Oz
July 28, 2019 8:02 pm

Oh the plus side, having all these giant hexagon shaped ice blocks pushed together will allow us to play some giant board games.

On the down side this sort of casual unicorn dream rubbish is why architects at BEST annoy the drokk out of engineering professionals. Remember, hard science is spelt STEM, not STEAM.

Brooks Hurd
July 28, 2019 9:16 pm

Am I missing something?

Can so many work on a project without understanding that their concept violates the law of thermodynamics?

Steve O
July 29, 2019 10:44 am

My first thought was that if this works, I can keep my kitchen cool by leaving the refrigerator door open.

Randy Wester
Reply to  Steve O
July 29, 2019 1:27 pm

Of course you can cool your kitchen by leaving the refrigerator door open. Only if you first need to seal it into a hole cut in an outside wall.

We could cool permafrost using a pipe with a working fluid and a partial vacuum in it, like the thermosiphons along the Trans Alaska Pipeline. I think we could build a lot of those for the price of one nuclear submarine ice cube maker.

July 29, 2019 10:56 am

And yet no-one has addressed the cost of this scheme. But if we can just get the Eskimos to buy…..

Richard A. O'Keefe
July 29, 2019 5:33 pm

[Bangs head against wall.] Seriously, anyone who completed high school science ought to know how insanely stupid this is. I mean, sinking and raising the whole boat just to get the water in and the ice out is dumber than a dead frog, but that’s just the poison ivy garnish on the BS sandwich,

Don’t designers have to understand something about air conditioning? How does a whole *team* of them miss a blunder of this magnitude? Or do they not care as long as they get paid?

How does someone who “contributes to some of the world’s leading architecture and design publications” miss a blunder of this magnitude? An art school graduate writing laudatory “journalism” about an idea that a bright 8 year old should have and a dumb 18 year old see through? Imagine my shock!

Alan Tomalty
July 30, 2019 4:08 am

All these geoengineering people should be locked up in prisons for the MENTALLY INSANE as a danger to the human race.

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