In a recent Time Magazine article, “Just Thaw and Serve”, 23 May 2011, researchers have shown the viability, via 3-D modelling, of tugging icebergs southward to alleviate European water shortages.
The work, conducted by French engineer, Georges Mougin, over the last 40 years, would indicate that one could tow a multi-ton iceberg, one of 15,000 that calve off of Greenland each year, as far as the Canary Islands, while losing an acceptable amount to melting, and make it fuel-efficient by using ocean currents as power.
This sounds like an ingenious way to solve the water shortage, but at what cost? I’m no scientist, but if we remove the bergs, doesn’t that result in warmer water around Greenland? Thus resulting in more loss of the ice shelf? Thus warming the seas more, resulting in even more calving, all leading to the disastrous rise in ocean levels that we’ve been warned about for decades?
The article addresses none of this, and until we have those answers, I’d say lets hold off the celebration…