Towing Icebergs for Drinking Water
If glaciologists and engineers can somehow harness flotillas of icebergs at the frozen corners of the Earth, it may signal hope for the throngs of thirsty people around the world.
What's the Latest Development?
A recent computer model suggests that a tug boat could tow an iceberg off the coast of Greenland all the way to northwest coast of Africa could supply drinking water to populations literally dying of thirst. Dragging a 7 million-ton iceberg, which carries enough water to meet the annual consumption needs of 35,000 people, a heavy tug boat could make the journey in about 140 days. The French company that developed the computer model is also working to make a synthetic skirt to put around an iceberg so it would not melt in the ocean currents.
What's the Big Idea?
With much of the world's fresh water locked away in Arctic icebergs, is it practical to bring the massive frozen chunks down to latitudes where people desperately need new sources of drinking water? With an estimated price tag of $11.5 million per journey, towing an iceberg from the north seas is not a cost-effective solution, at least not yet. Should technology advance, enabling bigger icebergs to be towed, the costs would decrease. Other concerns exist, such as the iceberg breaking up mid-journey and causing dangerous tidal waves.
Researchers discover a link between nonverbal synchronization and relationship success.
- Scientists say coordinating movements leads to increased intimacy and sexual desire in a couple.
- The improved rapport and empathy was also observed in people who didn't know each other.
- Non-verbal clues are very important in the development stages of a relationship.
Humans evolved to live in the cold through a number of environmental and genetic factors.
- According to some relatively new research, many of our early human cousins preceded Homo sapien migrations north by hundreds of thousands or even millions of years.
- Cross-breeding with other ancient hominids gave some subsets of human population the genes to contend and thrive in colder and harsher climates.
- Behavioral and dietary changes also helped humans adapt to cold climates.
The comics titan worked for more than half a century to revolutionize and add nuance to the comics industry, and he built a vast community of fans along the way.
- Lee died shortly after being rushed to an L.A. hospital. He had been struggling with multiple illnesses over the past year, reports indicate.
- Since the 1950s, Lee has been one of the most influential figures in comics, helping to popularize heroes that expressed a level of nuance and self-doubt previously unseen in the industry.
- Lee, who's later years were marked by some financial and legal tumult, is survived by his daughter, Joan Celia "J.C." Lee.
SMARTER FASTER trademarks owned by The Big Think, Inc. All rights reserved.