How catching cold mountain air could save Europe’s glaciers

August 20, 2008 at 6:43 pm | Posted in Wheater | 1 Comment
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Another frozen new from The Independent. It is not strictly related with the topics of the blog, but it is quite interesting anyway. And is related with the global warming issue, which truly affects indigenous arctic peoples… and non-arctic!

How catching cold mountain air could save Europe’s glaciers

By Tony Paterson in Berlin
Wednesday, 20 August 2008

A German geography professor has developed a controversial system of mountain “wind-catching” screens which he claims could slow or even halt the dramatic rate at which Europe’s glaciers are melting.

Glaciers across the globe are shrinking fast as a consequence of global warming. In Europe alone, some researchers have predicted that all its glaciers will have vanished by 2100.

However, Professor Hans-Joachim Fuchs from Germany’s Mainz University claims to have found at least a partial answer to the problem. His technique involves capturing the power of cold mountain – so-called kabatic – air streams with wind-catching screens installed on melting glaciers.

The screens are designed to harness the dense kabatic air streams which flow downhill and deflect them directly on to the surface of the glaciers, thereby cooling them enough, it is hoped, to counteract the effects of global warming.

In early August, Professor Fuchs and a team of 27 student researchers from Mainz university travelled to the Rhône glacier in Switzerland. There they installed a 15 metre-long, 10 metre-high wind catching screen at an altitude of 2,280 metres on the glacier in the country’s Valais region.

Monitoring has shown that the Rhône glacier is shrinking seven metres a year. However, Professor Fuchs insists that his wind- catcher will help to combat this. “We hope that our installations will bring about a net cooling of the area,” he said in a statement. “If the meltdown is not stopped, we hope that it will at least be slowed down,” he added.

[Read more…]

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1 Comment »

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  1. i wonder what the implications would be to artificially maintaining a glacier and therefore a large area of cool air in an area where the surrounding air would not have naturally allowed it to exist…

    well whatever they are, they cant be worse than the implications of artificially heating the entire planet


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