Episode 489 Saving Antarctica's Ice

John Moore was responsible for China’s geoengineeing work at a Beijing University. He explains to climatologists Peter Wadhams and Paul Beckwith his proposal to set up underwater panels of unwoven fabric in channels around Antarctica where warm water is flowing under the Thwaite Ice sheet. As a result, the glacier will melt and calve off as iceberg into the ocean. Placed properly in the channel, such panels can keep the warmer water out and hold the glacier in place. This technological project would take about thirty years to build. Moore would like the 29 nations that have pledged to protect Antarctica to contribute funds to create such an arrangement to prevent global sea rise. For the video, audio podcast, transcript and public comments: https://tosavetheworld.ca/episode-489-saving-antarcticas-ice.


• John Moore

• Peter Wadhams

• Paul Beckwith 


To Post a Comment

Please wait a few seconds for the comments to load at the bottom of this page. Then read the ideas other people have shared and reply or add your own knowledge. The space for comments is in a pale font. It’s good to give your comment a title by selecting it and clicking the “B” (for “boldface”). And you can italicize passages with the “I”, indent, add hyperlinks (with the chain symbol) or even attach a photo or graphic from your hard drive by clicking the paperclip at the right side of the space. Have fun with it!

Notify of

1 Comment
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Its certainly true that the final curtain will be expensive. 

But we start with simulations, water tank tests, small scale field deployments and work up.

We have budgets for 100 k, 1 and 2 million that cover modelling regional ocean scale impacts, governance and finance issues and the fluid dynamics of water – curtain interactions. 

We are looking for funding and have some interest from universities and engineering firms plus some philanthropic sources. We certainly need more.

We have made elementary models of the static and dynamic forces involved, these are based on actual field data on water salinity, temperature – depth profiles in the Amundsen Sea and current speeds plus real-world mechanical properties of curtain materials – No exotic forces are expected nor materials needed. It’s certainly do-able from materials engineering perspectives. Vibrationary modes are likely a serious concern especially during construction, but those issues are why engineers are involved.

We have a detailed but highly preliminary budget of the full scale 80 km deployment, but that would be a decade down the line from here.

Select the Videos from Right

We produce several one-hour-long Zoom conversations each week about various aspects of six issues we address. You can watch them live and send a question to the speakers or watch the edited version later here or on our Youtube channel.