'Polar Umbrella' could save polar ice caps

Posted By Kristen Butler, UPI.com  |  March 13, 2013 at 5:14 PM
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The Skyscraper Competition by eVolo Magazine recognizes "outstanding ideas for vertical living," and first place winner Derek Pirozzi designed his structure for the polar ice caps.

Over decades of global warming, rising temperatures have led to arctic sea-ice melting and fracturing. Although a long-term solution might be to change human activity and energy usage, U.S. architect Pirozzi envisioned a shorter-term possibility.

The Polar Umbrella is a buoyant super-structure with desalinization and power facilities designed to protect and replenish the ice caps, while providing mixed-use space for research and eco-tourism.

The arctic skyscraper is a floating metropolis equipped with NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) research laboratories, renewable power stations, dormitory-style housing units, eco-tourist attractions, and ecological habitats for wildlife. A series of these structures would be strategically located in the most affected areas.

Salt water is used to produce renewable energy through an osmotic power facility within the building’s core. The structure’s immense canopy would reduce heat gain on the arctic surface while harvesting solar energy. But the Polar Umbrella won't just slow warming, it would also regenerate the ice caps by using harvest chambers to freeze seawater.

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