Saturday, January 19, 2008

Lower the Ocean

I constantly hear about how global warming is melting the north pole and raising the sea level. The raising sea level would be bad -- if you own land in Egypt, Florida, Beijing, Loiusiana, or central California....well, not anymore you don't. And yes, with no ice whatsoever, Greenland and Antarctica would raise up and leave the earth with more land than before, but honestly, which would you rather live in? Louisiana? Or Greenland?

So I've decided today to do the opposite. I'm going to LOWER the level of the seas to get more useful land for human use. And I'm going to do it in a very ironic way. I'm going to do it by applying heat.

Start by building a platform in the south pacific, between Australia and Antarctica. Then build a nuclear reactor on that platform, and use the ocean as a heat sink. The heated ocean will evaporate more water. When the winds blow north, Australia will benefit from rain, alleviating their drought. When the winds blow south, the water will fall as snow on Anarctica. Anarctica has a thick layer of snow, not because it snows often there, but because what little does fall there never melts. The power generated by the reactor can be brought to Australia via an undersea cable, or it could power a research station on the platform. Even if the power was not used, the additional wetness to the area would be a benefit. Also, Australia has large reserves of Uranium that they are not using, so refueling the reactor is easy.

Water that falls as snow on Antarctica will not melt without a rather large increase in global warming, which should be contained in other ways. Lastly, should the world need fresh water in the future, it can be sawed out of Antarctica in an emergency.

3 comments:

Cairnarvon said...

Keep in mind water vapor is also an efficient greenhouse gas, and if you aren't going to evaporate all of it but just cycle the water through, you'll be heating the surrounding sea water as well.
Unless you plan carefully, the net effect will still be an increase in the sea level, though a miniscule one.

TheMadEngineer said...

Heating the seawater is what's causing the evaporation in the first place, but yes, you're right, the water vapor would be a greenhouse gas while in the air. It'd be bad if all the winds went east and west, dropping the water right back into the ocean....

Cairnarvon said...

Heating the sea water in the coolant towers wouldn't affect the temperature of the sea surrounding the platform too much, but pumping heated sea water back into the ocean would. And that would be unhealthy.

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