Giant Ice Shield Will Fight Global Warming
To combat global warming and the urban island heat effect, Mongolia is launching the world's largest ice-making experiment. It hopes to use the ice to cool its capital during summer.
What's the Latest Development?
Outside its capital Ulan Bator, Mongolia is launching the world's largest ice-making experiment in hopes of combating global warming and the urban heat island effect. "The project aims to artificially create 'naleds'—ultra-thick slabs of ice that occur naturally in far northern climes when rivers or springs push through cracks in the surface to seep outwards during the day and then add an extra layer of ice during the night." If successful, the technique could be used in other northern cities.
What's the Big Idea?
Creating naleds is a relatively benign geoengineering project. More ambitious ones, which seek to influence the Earth's climate, have included creating stratospheric sulfur aerosols. "Everyone is panicking about melting glaciers and icecaps, but nobody has yet found a cheap, environmentally friendly alternative," said Robin Grayson, a Mongolian-based geologist. By drilling bore holes in ice flows from the Tuul River, scientists will be able to create ice sheet up to seven meters thick.
Photo credit: Shutterstock.com
Antimicrobial resistance is growing worldwide, rendering many "work horse" medicines ineffective. Without intervention, drug-resistant pathogens could lead to millions of deaths by 2050. Thankfully, companies like Pfizer are taking action.
- Antimicrobial-resistant pathogens are one of the largest threats to global health today.
- As we get older, our immune systems age, increasing our risk of life threatening infections. Without reliable antibiotics, life expectancy could decline for the first time in modern history.
- If antibiotics become ineffective, common infections could result in hospitalization or even death. Life-saving interventions like cancer treatments and organ transplantation would become more difficult, more often resulting in death. Routine procedures would become hard to perform.
- Without intervention, resistant pathogens could result in 10 million annual deaths by 2050.
- By taking a multi-faceted approach—inclusive of adherence to good stewardship, surveillance and responsible manufacturing practices, as well as an emphasis on prevention and treatment—companies like Pfizer are fighting to help curb the spread.
No, the Syrian civil war is not over. But it might be soon. Time for a recap
- The War in Syria has dropped off the radar, but it's not over (yet)
- This 1-minute video shows how the fronts have moved – and stabilised – over the past 22 months
- Watching this video may leave you both better informed, and slightly queasy: does war need a generic rock soundtrack?
Sarco assisted suicide pods come in three different styles, and allow you to die quickly and painlessly. They're even quite beautiful to look at.
Death: it happens to everyone (except, apparently, Keanu Reeves). But while the impoverished and lower-class people of the world die in the same ol' ways—cancer, heart disease, and so forth—the upper classes can choose hip and cool new ways to die. Now, there's an assisted-suicide pod so chic and so stylin' that peeps (young people still say peeps, right?) are calling it the "Tesla" of death... it's called... the Sarco!
Entrepreneur and author Andrew Horn shares his rules for becoming an assured conversationalist.
- To avoid basing action on external validation, you need to find your "authentic voice" and use it.
- Finding your voice requires asking the right questions of yourself.
- There are 3-5 questions that you would generally want to ask people you are talking to.
SMARTER FASTER trademarks owned by The Big Think, Inc. All rights reserved.