We've all heard about painting roofs white to keep buildings cooler, but will the same idea work for a mountain? The World Bank is funding an experiment in Peru to see if whitewashing mountains can slow glacial melt.
The 15,600-foot Chalon Sombrero mountain near Licapa, Peru is the testing ground for this project. A team, led by inventor Eduardo Gold, have already covered two hectares with an earth-friendly paint made from lime, industrial egg white and water. The goal is to cover the entire summit in the solution -- about 70 hectares.
Gold won $200,000 in funding for this idea through a "100 Ideas to Save the Planet" competition. The hope is that as sunlight is reflected off the white surface, back into the atmosphere, the peak's surface will become cooler, creating a cold micro-climate that will regrow its glacier.
The Peruvian people have supported the project. Chalon Sombrero supplies fresh water for the Licapa village, and many other villages around Peru -- home to 70 percent of the world's tropical glaciers -- are dealing dwindling water supplies from disappearing glaciers (22 percent have melted in the last 30 years).
The idea has its share of critics, with glaciologists saying that although there may be a positive impact on a very localized level, it's highly unlikely that it would work on a larger scale across the Andes.
written by DrTom, July 03, 2010
|< Prev||Next >|