(CNN) A team of scientists has a surprisingly simple solution to saving the Arctic: We need to make more ice.It's not like we have anything better to do with half a trillion dollars. Should we cure cancer or refrigerate one of the coldest places on Earth? Should we teach our kids about the fall of civilizations, or teach them to bow before prophets who keep predicting the end of the Arctic and getting it wrong?
A team at Arizona State University has proposed building 10 million wind-powered pumps to draw up water and spill it out onto the surface of the ice, where it will freeze faster. Doing so would be complicated and expensive — it's estimated to cost a cool $500 billion, and right now the proposal is only theoretical.
Or we could add ice to the whole arctic for just $5 trillion
Tristan Hopper explains the beefed up plan would absorb the "entire steel production of the United States", "half the worlds container fleet", and cost about the same as the "GDP of Japan". It would also make 163 million tonnes of CO2. He's serious, and so are the ivory tower guys:
"... the researchers from Arizona State University call the cost "economically achievable" and the environmental impact "negligible.""We could fund it all by giving up on universities right now. When it comes to the Tertiary Sector — just say "No".
The giant water pumps would sit on buoys floating in the Arctic Sea. They would take up water from beneath the ice, store it in a tank and then spray the water on top of the ice.Yes, it'll be just like windmills on farms, except they float on water, are subject to extreme weather, and produces nothing that any human needs within a 3,000km radius.
The machines would be powered by the wind, which is plentiful in the Arctic, in a similar way to windmills you see creating power on farms.
The team estimates in the paper that 10 million devices could add a meter of sea ice onto the current level of ice over the course of a winter. That's a meter of ice on each tenth of a square kilometer.What could possibly go wrong? The noise from ten million wind turbines might drive ten thousand whales crazy and destroy the sleep of a million polar bears.
"That's a significant change," said Desch. The sea ice only grows two to three meters in thickness during the winter.
To make a dent in the loss of ice, you would need to cover about 10% of the Arctic, which adds up to 10 million machines, he said.
Where is Greenpeace when you need them.