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# If there were an ice age coming...

## If there were an ice age coming... - Physics Forum

### If there were an ice age coming... - Physics Forum. Discuss and ask physics questions, kinematics and other physics problems.

#1
06-20-2006, 08:12 PM
 SAIL4EVR Guest Posts: n/a
If there were an ice age coming...

and a glacier was moving towards a city at 3 or 4 ft per year. Lets say
you wanted to melt the front of said glacier for a distance of 10 miles
across the front of the glacier perpendicular to the direction of
motion? How much energy and what type, perhaps microwave, it works in a
microwave oven, would have to be focused on the front of the glacier to
make it melt faster than it was moving. Of course the glacier not
confronted by the focused microwave energy would still be moving around
the outskirts of the city. Also of course since the glacier is still
moving, the encroaching front is getting deeper and deeper. Of course
the energy and any waste products would have to be non toxic otherwise
what would be the point.
Can we survive an ice age by melting all the ice as it encroaches our
cities? Powering giant microwave transmitters with dedicated nuclear
reactors. Is it totally impossible?

#2
06-20-2006, 09:03 PM
 Phineas T Puddleduck Guest Posts: n/a
If there were an ice age coming...

In article <1150834350.644319.26110@r2g2000cwb.googlegroups.c om>,
SAIL4EVR <[Only registered users see links. ]> wrote:

Simplifying slightly

a 10 kilometre cube of water = 10,000 ^3 = 10^12 m^3 ~ 10^12 tonne's of
water

Latent heat of fusion: 3.33 x 10^5 J/kg at 0oC

~ approximately 10^17 watts needed to melt that ice

[Only registered users see links. ]

A power station can generate 1000 megawatts around 10^6 watts

You'll need a LOT of power stations!

100000000000

Plus what do you do with the water?

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#3
06-20-2006, 09:11 PM
 tadchem Guest Posts: n/a
If there were an ice age coming...

SAIL4EVR wrote:

It would be far easier to 'mine' the glacier for ice to make fresh
water. That would be 15-20,000 cubic feet of ice per year per foot of
height of the glacier.

If you *really* want to go the expensive route and mlt the whole
glacier as fast as it comes at you, figure on first raising the
temperature to 0° C from whatever it starts as, then adding enough
heat (heat of fusion = 334.5 kilojoules per kilogram) to convert the
0° ice to 0° liquid water.

Possibly in a flanking attack it would come in from both sides as well.
A mass of ice that large is not necessarily a rigid object. It flows
like cold molasses (treacle), but it *does* flow - downhill.

Do you want to defend your flanks the same way?

If that is the case then you are in deep doo-doo - your energy demands
will keep increasing unless you get the city out of the way of the
glacier.

Gee! "Toxic heat." Now *there's* a concept to wrap your mind around on
a day when you are snowed in.

We may survive the crushing of the glacier since we can move out of the
way. I have a Liriodendron tree in my front yard that is *growing*
faster than your glacier moves. What will kill us is the glacier
moving across the *farmland* - we'll eventually starve.

With current technology, it is impossible. There are limits to how
large you can make a microwave generator and still have it emitting
microwaves. We would need to run *MANY* microwave generators. Imagine
taking every microwave from every Wal-Mart in your *STATE* and plugging
them in at the same time.

There are easier and cheaper ways to melt a glacier. Soot comes to
mind...

Tom Davidson
Richmond, VA

#4
06-20-2006, 09:55 PM
 SAIL4EVR Guest Posts: n/a
If there were an ice age coming...

SAIL4EVR writes:
What great answers. I really think we could write a story with most
people living in a band around the equator and others trying to save
our cities. Throw in a villain or 2 and maybe Harrison Ford as
President and we could make a movie. I don't think this one has been
done yet. Maybe it would be the sequal to "The Day After Tomorrow"

#5
06-20-2006, 09:55 PM
 SAIL4EVR Guest Posts: n/a
If there were an ice age coming...

SAIL4EVR writes:
What great answers. I really think we could write a story with most
people living in a band around the equator and others trying to save
our cities. Throw in a villain or 2 and maybe Harrison Ford as
President and we could make a movie. I don't think this one has been
done yet. Maybe it would be the sequal to "The Day After Tomorrow"

#6
06-20-2006, 11:27 PM
 GeekBoy Guest Posts: n/a
If there were an ice age coming...

"SAIL4EVR" <[Only registered users see links. ]> wrote in message

I think it would be easiest to start laying 8 mil. roll sheets of black
plastic would be best after the snowing stops.

It would adsorb the heat from the sun, thus melting the ice. How much? who
knows.

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#7
06-21-2006, 12:19 AM
 N:dlzc D:aol T:com \(dlzc\) Guest Posts: n/a
If there were an ice age coming...

"tadchem" <[Only registered users see links. ]> wrote in message

SAIL4EVR wrote:
....

He/She was probably thinking of something like salting a road,
which is toxic to most inland plant life.

David A. Smith

#8
06-21-2006, 03:48 AM
 SAIL4EVR Guest Posts: n/a
If there were an ice age coming...

GeekBoy wrote:

How would you calculate the energy actually melting the ice? How does
that compare to microwave, covering with soot. If you have to wait till
it stops snowing...that might be too late.

#9
06-21-2006, 07:19 AM
 GeekBoy Guest Posts: n/a
If there were an ice age coming...

"SAIL4EVR" <[Only registered users see links. ]> wrote in message

You would have to measure it with a sample.

Soot could raise the ambient temprature, but can also act as an insuation...
while it is black could act like a insulator.
As far as snowing...once the ice keeps coming a lot of the water vapor will
start to get locked into the ice reducing precipitation.

The reason ice ages last so long it because the white ice is reflecting the
sun's solar enegry back into space.
Underneath Plastic sheets can get quite hot..not boiling point, but well in
the same area as a hot water heater set on high.

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Posted via a free Usenet account from [Only registered users see links. ]

 Tags age , coming , ice

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