Giant Artificial Glaciers Growing In The Desert

Grace Higgins | January 21st, 2019

One smart engineer from a small remote village in Indian has put his engineering skills to the test and decided to counter-effect the problems being caused by global warming. A global and immense problem for one engineer to tackle, but Sonam Wangchuk is up for the fight. His solution is very simple, create artificial glaciers to counteract the effects of climate change.

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In fact, it is just an idea that forms its basis on the rules of supply and demand: when the melting snow and ice happens during the summer Wangchuk realized much of this water is going to waste and could actually be useful. Farmers from his region were always struggling to find enough water to grow their crops. Wangchuk created a system that could collect the melting water and make sure it could be stored safely until it was needed during the droughts.

And the system is known as the artificial glaciers, which he installs and grows in the Indian dessert. The Ladakh region always relied on melting water to supply its needs, but the rising global temperature means there has not been as much snow and ice compared to past years.

The artificial glaciers use a complex setup of pipes, gravity and cold temperature that create these sort of little ice bumps in the landscape. Wangchuk is hoping that it will slowly transform the dry region into a lush and green area.

He modeled his project after the Buddha monuments that monks worship, and crowdfunded the first $96,000 he needed to make his project a reality. The pipe is connected to the real glacier higher up the mountain, ensuring that what does melt comes down to the region & villages that need water. The artificial glaciers then ensure instead of the water simply going into the ground immediately, it is stored and ready to be used when needed. This way water can be rationed for the dry months.

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