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posted by n1 on Wednesday May 17, @08:58PM   Printer-friendly
from the on-the-rocks dept.

A Dubai firm's dream of towing icebergs from the Antarctic to the Arabian Peninsula could face some titanic obstacles.

Where many see the crumbling polar ice caps as a distressing sign of global warming, the National Advisor Bureau Limited sees it as a source of profit, and a way of offsetting the effects of climate change in the increasingly sweltering Gulf.

The firm has drawn up plans to harvest icebergs in the southern Indian Ocean and tow them 9,200 kilometers (5,700 miles) away to the Gulf, where they could be melted down for freshwater and marketed as a tourist attraction.

"The icebergs are just floating in the Indian Ocean. They are up for grabs to whoever can take them," managing director Abdullah al-Shehi told The Associated Press in his Dubai office. He hopes to begin harvesting them by 2019.

[...] The firm would send ships down to Heard Island, an Australian nature reserve in the southern Indian Ocean, where they would steer between massive icebergs the size of cities in search of truck-sized chunks known as growlers. Workers would then secure them to the boats with nets and embark on a yearlong cruise to the United Arab Emirates.


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  • (Score: -1, Flamebait) by Ethanol-fueled on Wednesday May 17, @09:12PM (10 children)

    by Ethanol-fueled (2792) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday May 17, @09:12PM (#511392) Homepage Journal

    When are we going to nuke those donkey-fuckers already?

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 17, @11:49PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 17, @11:49PM (#511458)

      breitbart and 4chan are not enough? Please keep your racist remarks off this site.

    • (Score: -1, Flamebait) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 18, @01:26AM (7 children)

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 18, @01:26AM (#511484)

      On the bright side the cavecunts might be the first to die off from that ancient disease [bbc.com] no one is immune to anymore.

      • (Score: 3, Interesting) by kaszz on Thursday May 18, @08:01AM (6 children)

        by kaszz (4211) on Thursday May 18, @08:01AM (#511589) Journal

        There are diseases hidden in ice, and they are waking up [bbc.com]

        In the early 20th Century alone, more than a million reindeer died from anthrax. It is not easy to dig deep graves, so most of these carcasses are buried close to the surface, scattered among 7,000 burial grounds in northern Russia.

        scientists have discovered intact 1918 Spanish flu virus in corpses buried in mass graves in Alaska's tundra. Smallpox and the bubonic plague are also likely buried in Siberia.

        In February 2017, NASA scientists announced that they had found 10-50,000-year-old microbes inside crystals in a Mexican mine. /../ Despite this, the bacteria have somehow become resistant to 18 types of antibiotics, including drugs considered to be a "last resort" for fighting infections. In a study published in December 2016, researchers found that the bacteria, known as Paenibacillus sp. LC231, was resistant to 70% of antibiotics and was able to totally inactivate many of them.

        in a 2011 study scientists extracted DNA from bacteria found in 30,000-year-old permafrost in the Beringian region between Russia and Canada. They found genes encoding resistance to beta-lactam, tetracycline and glycopeptide antibiotics.

        So far it seems just familiar diseases has made a reappearance. But that antibiotic resistance genes could transfer to modern day bacterial genes.

        Another danger is that as Earth warms northern countries will become more susceptible to outbreaks of "southern" diseases like malaria, cholera and dengue fever.

        • (Score: 2) by Dunbal on Thursday May 18, @11:00AM (5 children)

          by Dunbal (3515) on Thursday May 18, @11:00AM (#511631)

          So far it seems just familiar diseases has made a reappearance.

          Routine vaccination against smallpox stopped in 1972. I don't think anywhere in the world currently vaccinates against this pathogen - why, if it no longer is a threat? The carnage would be - impressive. It doesn't have to be some ancient unheard of disease. You can't make billions of vaccines faster than millions can die.

          • (Score: 2) by kaszz on Thursday May 18, @11:52AM (2 children)

            by kaszz (4211) on Thursday May 18, @11:52AM (#511641) Journal

            At least there is a vaccine and the infection rate is not something out of a sci-fi movie.

            • (Score: 2) by Dunbal on Thursday May 18, @02:30PM (1 child)

              by Dunbal (3515) on Thursday May 18, @02:30PM (#511690)

              Yeah, but there's a lead time in global-scale manufacturing and inoculation. Ramping up to that scale and distributing everything again would take years. It wouldn't be the end of civilization, but the death toll worldwide would certainly be counted in the millions if not more.

              • (Score: 2) by kaszz on Thursday May 18, @04:45PM

                by kaszz (4211) on Thursday May 18, @04:45PM (#511730) Journal

                It certainly would be deadly event but once there is a vaccine. It's quite straightforward to combat any pathogen. The alternative is to rely on symptoms and quarantine whole countries and let's not think about international trade. All the while researchers have maybe to work for years without using proper equipment because of said quarantine. Access to qualified people may also be affected.

          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 18, @01:31PM (1 child)

            by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 18, @01:31PM (#511673)

            The US Military currently vaccinates against it, I know I received the vaccine before I deployed. The gov also keeps a stockpile of smallpox vaccine to inoculate everyone if it hits the fan. In fact after I got out of the army I made some good money donating plasma because I had been vaccinated for smallpox. They used it to make new vaccines.

            https://www.cdc.gov/phpr/stockpile/index.htm [cdc.gov]

            • (Score: 2) by Dunbal on Thursday May 18, @02:27PM

              by Dunbal (3515) on Thursday May 18, @02:27PM (#511689)

              The gov also keeps a stockpile of smallpox vaccine

              Pretty sure that stockpile is spoken for. It's not some kid in Rwanda that is going to get it. But it's nice to know that while the US is keeping the poison they're also keeping the antidote...

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 18, @09:21PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 18, @09:21PM (#511838)

      fuck off ignorant scum

  • (Score: 2) by ikanreed on Wednesday May 17, @09:34PM (4 children)

    by ikanreed (3164) on Wednesday May 17, @09:34PM (#511403)

    They thought they killed it with global warming.

    But now.

    The iceberg is back, and it's going to chase you all the way into the Arabian Desert.

    • (Score: 2) by bob_super on Wednesday May 17, @09:47PM

      by bob_super (1357) on Wednesday May 17, @09:47PM (#511411)

      We'll soon get a Security Council resolution prohibiting North Korea from weaponizing icebergs.

      Titanic II, involving a guided iceberg and a supertanker or supercarrier, would be quite a show. They'd have to have the sex scene in a helicopter...

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 17, @10:13PM (1 child)

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 17, @10:13PM (#511421)

      Canada and/or Greenland should take possession of all icebergs and charge them $2 per pound. Revenge for all that oil.

    • (Score: 4, Insightful) by mhajicek on Thursday May 18, @12:57AM

      by mhajicek (51) on Thursday May 18, @12:57AM (#511473)

      Problem: rapidly diminishing arctic ice
      Solution: Haul massive chunks of it to the desert and melt it.

  • (Score: 2) by fliptop on Wednesday May 17, @09:42PM (1 child)

    by fliptop (1666) on Wednesday May 17, @09:42PM (#511409) Journal

    Think of what that means to all those thirsty Arab farmers [reddit.com], it's great!

    --
    It's crackers to slip a rozzer the dropsy in snide.
  • (Score: -1, Offtopic) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 17, @09:43PM (1 child)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 17, @09:43PM (#511410)

    Linux linux linux
    I use Linux linux linux
    All days long in Dubaiiiiii
    Linux makes me randy
    Penguins bring me candy
    Suck my big fat coder cock

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 18, @12:28AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 18, @12:28AM (#511467)

      I don't like the music other people tend to share...
      Hate your loser lyrics, middle fingers in the air.

  • (Score: 2) by archfeld on Wednesday May 17, @10:10PM (3 children)

    by archfeld (4650) <treboreel@live.com> on Wednesday May 17, @10:10PM (#511419) Journal

    Sounds like the plot from Speed 3. A glacier that has to move faster than 3 knots or melt. Starring Keanu Reeves and Sandra Bullock.

    --
    For the NSA : Explosives, guns, assassination, conspiracy, primers, detonators, initiators, main charge, nuclear charge
    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 17, @11:38PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 17, @11:38PM (#511451)

      This would certainly redefine the meaning of "moves at a glacial pace".

    • (Score: 2) by Dunbal on Thursday May 18, @01:23AM (1 child)

      by Dunbal (3515) on Thursday May 18, @01:23AM (#511482)

      I want to be there when they try to get it to STOP moving. Should be hilarious.

      • (Score: 2) by coolgopher on Thursday May 18, @04:32AM

        by coolgopher (1157) Subscriber Badge on Thursday May 18, @04:32AM (#511541)

        They'll jump it off a ramp, sending it safely flying straight over the Burj Khalifa and landing in a convenient spare plot of desert.

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 17, @10:20PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 17, @10:20PM (#511425)

    Forward march in your face
    Taking back, taking place
    Before you die, living fast
    Take a chance, hauling ice
    Never, no never, no never
    Move in reverse

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 17, @10:22PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 17, @10:22PM (#511426)

    ...then the iceberg must be towed to Dubai.

  • (Score: 3, Interesting) by WalksOnDirt on Thursday May 18, @01:16AM (1 child)

    by WalksOnDirt (5854) on Thursday May 18, @01:16AM (#511477) Journal

    The icebergs are up for grabs now, but what about later? Will the UN lay claim to all antarctic ice and try to make people pay for it? Or will ice ships camp off the coast waiting to claim new bergs as they fall off the great ice sheets?

    • (Score: 3, Insightful) by kaszz on Thursday May 18, @07:37AM

      by kaszz (4211) on Thursday May 18, @07:37AM (#511584) Journal

      What I think the world community has to be wary of is when expeditions starts to blow off pieces of ice when the natural supply isn't enough.

  • (Score: 5, Interesting) by PinkyGigglebrain on Thursday May 18, @01:17AM (1 child)

    by PinkyGigglebrain (4458) on Thursday May 18, @01:17AM (#511480)

    " ... in search of truck-sized chunks known as growlers. Workers would then secure them to the boats with nets and embark on a yearlong cruise to the United Arab Emirates."

    "truck sized?, how boring. The headline make it sound like they were going to go after the city sized ones.

    I find it hard to believe that the cost of this, given fuel, crew, boats, insurance, etc.,etc. would be at all practical for the amount of water they will get from a "truck-sized" berg.

    They could probably get a much better ROI from building a OTEC [wikipedia.org] system. For the TL,dr crowd: OTEC uses temp difference between warm surface and cold deep water to generate electricity and pure fresh water. Clean, zero carbon emissions. Really neat.

    --
    "Beware those who would deny you Knowledge, For in their hearts they dream themselves your Master."
    • (Score: 1) by butthurt on Thursday May 18, @10:02AM

      by butthurt (6141) on Thursday May 18, @10:02AM (#511614) Journal

      "truck sized?, how boring. The headline make it sound like they were going to go after the city sized ones.

      City-sized in the Southern Ocean, truck-sized when they reach the Persian Gulf?

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 18, @06:58AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 18, @06:58AM (#511570)

    The company believes that, as most of the icebergs' mass is underwater, they would not melt significantly during the voyage.

    I find ice cubes melt faster in warm water than in warm air. More so if the warm water is moving around them.

    "It's the driest ice in the world," Brears said. "You could melt a lot of this ice and get very little water from it."

    I doubt there's so much more air in that ice that could justify such a claim.

    We're talking H2O ice, not CO2 right? See: https://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/06/13/results-lab-experiment-regarding-co2-snow-in-antarctica-at-113%C2%B0f-80-5%C2%B0c-not-possible/ [wattsupwiththat.com]

  • (Score: 2) by fraxinus-tree on Thursday May 18, @03:48PM

    by fraxinus-tree (5590) on Thursday May 18, @03:48PM (#511717)

    ... and once in a while it creates an investment balloon. Now, maybe for real? As for the global warming, it actually means more icebergs, not less. Well, at least for a while.

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