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Mongolian scientists combating climate change
Published in Bikya Masr on 17 - 11 - 2011

Scientists in Mongolia have announced they will be harvesting ice during the winter to bolster the nation's water supply. The scientists will begin this month creating extremely thick slabs of ice by drilling bore holes into the ice that has started to form on the Tuul river.
The slabs of ice are known as “naleds,” and they continue to expand so long as there is enough water pressure to penetrate the surface of the formed ice.
As summer approaches and the ice begins to melt, it is expected that the excess ice will also aid in reducing city temperatures and saving energy that would have been used on air conditioners. Drinking water and irrigation supplies will also be better regulated.
The engineering firm responsible for the project is ECOS & EMI. Mongolia is an excellent place for such an experiment, due to the extreme differences in weather present. The capital city of Mongolia has the coldest winters in the world, and yet also has high summers.
The capital city of Ulan Bator is funding the project, which has been estimated to be over 700,000 dollars. The goal is to address the problems the capital faces in dealing with such extreme opposites and make it applicable to other areas of similar climate conditions.
The Tuul River flows through Ulan Bator and is extremely polluted. Some observers have made reference to gold mining in the region, as well as insufficient sanitation facilities. Traditionally Mongolians were nomads, but now a third of the population live in the capital.
There is some skepticism towards the project, with some blogs asking why money should be spent on such a thing. The scientists are confident that they succeed despite this criticism.
Naleds could be used to provide ‘cool parks' in cities, according to one geologist Robin Grayson. Grayson is the author of a paper which tackled the notion of using naleds to combat climate change across many Asian regions.

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