Computer Models Show that Towing an Iceberg to a Drought Area Could Actually Work

Big Don

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Computer Models Show that Towing an Iceberg to a Drought Area Could Actually Work
By Clay Dillow Posted 08.09.2011 at 6:07 pm Popular Science EXCERPT:

You may have heard of this scheme before: during periods of serious drought, a huge tugboat or fleet of tugboats could be tethered to an iceberg and hauled to areas where water is scarce, providing drinking water and irrigation stores to stave off famine. The idea was originally floated by an engineer named Georges Mougin in the 1970s, and though it was laughed out of development back then, its enjoying a kind of renaissance today.

Dassault Systemes, the french software developer, has built a computer model of Mougins idea. And after 15 engineers ran the problem through their models, they found that the idea is more or less perfectly feasible. Towing an iceberg from somewhere around Newfoundland to the northwest coast of Africa would only take around five months and could still retain more than 60 percent of the icebergs mass. The downside: it would cost about $10 million.

The simulation accounted for the costs associated with fitting a huge insulating sleeve around a seven-ton iceberg, towing it across the Atlantic via tugboat and kite-sail (at a speed of about one knot), and then distributing the water inland from the coast.

END EXCERPT
Wouldn't attaching a few big diesel engines work better than tugs coordinating tow lines? Kite sail? Really?
 

granfire

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Tugs are big diesel engines... ^_^

all nice and dandy....but how do you get your iceblock from the coast to where you need it?
(they could practice closer to home tho: Haul that puppy down from Alaska, drop it on So Cal or Texas...or Arizona, New Mexico....
 

MA-Caver

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They could just send cases of Coors Light and open them all at once.

Ten million bucks and if it doesn't work I'm sure they'll get a sinking feeling in their stomachs.

Question is how to get the ice out of the salt water and on to dry land so the melting waters aren't leeched into the ocean? Plus ecologically will it affect the areas where the iceberg is sitting in the water waiting... sudden cold temps in the usually warm waters. Also, some ice bergs are hundreds of feet deep into the ocean, how to knock off the bottom so it can be towed closer to land, shallower waters?
And why not take the shorter route... ice from Antarctica rather Arctic ice? Since Antarctica covers the entire southern end of the planet, pick one and tow it straight up to where it needs to go, than the long way around the cape of Africa? I read the article and they want to go to the north west coast but it still seems shorter from south to north and around Somalia and Ethiopia where famine is constant.
Some cool pics. http://triggerpit.com/2011/02/07/incredible-icebergs-37-pics/

http://www.popsci.com/environment/a...sion-snaps-rhode-island-sized-iceberg-glacier
 
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