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Scientists are sprinkling millions of tiny glass beads on glaciers to prevent them melting by reflecting the sun’s rays

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Daily Mail
September 27, 2019

A newly devised type of silica bead could help save melting glaciers from the onslaught of climate change, scientists say.

The innovative new approach, developed by a company called Ice911, employs minuscule beads of ‘glass’ which are spread across the surface layer of glaciers.

There they help to reflect light beating down on them and slow what has become a tremendous pace of melt throughout the last several years.

‘I just asked myself a very simple question: Is there a safe material that could help replace that lost reflectivity?’ Found of Ice911, Leslie Field, told Mother Jones.

What they landed on was a silica-based substance – silica being a common ingredient in many rocks – that is able to safely supplement thinning ice and help bolster its resilience against the sun and increasingly warmer weather.

So far, the novel new method, which is being tested in Alaska, has been shown to be surprisingly effective.

In a paper published by the American Geophysical Union, one field test reported seeing a 15 to 20 percent increase in reflectivity due to the beads.

  • A d v e r t i s e m e n t

In the Arctic, that could translate into a reduction in 1.5 degree Celsius temperature reduction, a 3-degree reduction in sea temperatures, and an increase in ice thickness up to 20 inches, according to a report from Mother Jones.

For an embattled climate, Ice911’s solution for melt mitigation has come not a moment too soon.

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This article was posted: Friday, September 27, 2019 at 3:09 am

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