Pykrete Bridges in the Arctic?


Global warming, Greenhouse effect, Impacts, Infrastructure, United States, Alaska, Greenland, Russia, Pykrete, permafrost, transportation, transportation infrastructure

The degradation of permafrost due to global warming is having an adverse impact on the transportation infrastructure of nations near the Arctic including Canada, the Alaskan part of the US, Greenland and Russia.  The cost has been estimated as being huge in Alaska alone:

http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0959378008000216

An article that looks at how polar region is affected not just Alaska at:

http://www.bioone.org/doi/abs/10.1579/0044-7447-33.6.289

Pykrete is a really amazing material.  Made of water and sawdust frozen, pykrete is far more durable and has a much higher melting point than ice.  During WW II there was discussion of using this amazing material for ships.  How about Arctic bridges instead?  If sawdust is added to the existing permafrost then the melting temperature of the permafrost should be much lower.  Due to the lower melting temperature, permafrost dependent transportation infrastructure should last longer in a pykrete form.

Hugh Fox III - Ice Cube

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2 responses to “Pykrete Bridges in the Arctic?

  1. This is a very serious issue for many companies in the Arctic. Just the danger of transporting goods there is a major factor without the additional risk of breakthroughs. The addition of Pykrete or sawdust is a monetary concern for any business, but should it be handled by the governing authorities? There is not an inexpensive way to solve the problem. Reaching an agreement about the correct solution might be another issue that has not even been discussed.

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