Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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The coldest place

CO2 sequestration architecture
  [vote for,

Construction project to dwarf anything ever built before by magnitudes. Massive open-topped insulated cooling tower, miles high and miles across at the south pole. Keeps sunlight from ever reaching bottom. Top inner surface is angled outward and reflective to keep sunlight in the summer from being reflected downwards. Heat can only enter with air, but would always be able to radiate to space. Cold temps would allow CO2 to fall as snow.

How high and how wide? I'm not a very smart man. I don't know those answers.

Probably wouldn't work. Just an idea.

Kansan101, Mar 24 2014

Pykrete-reinforced Antarctic Ice Mountain Vostok_20Ice_20Mountain
[bs0u0155, Mar 24 2014]

I think this has been thunk Vostok_20Solid-State_20Sequestation
[bs0u0155, Mar 24 2014]


       This I like, especially the CO2 snow.   

       Of course, if there were ever a volcano at the south pole, everything would fizz, but the risks of that are probably fairly low.
MaxwellBuchanan, Mar 24 2014

       At most latitudes, the sensible ones at least, there are tables describing the relationship between altitude and temperature. In general it gets down to around -55/-60 up to 10/15,000 m. What happens over Antarctica, I'm having great difficulty finding out. I suspect that the temperature at altitude is actually less variable over the globe than the surface temp. The cooling and descent of the atmosphere pulling in high altitude air and driving the katabatic flows. So by building a big tower, you might actually be making a tube with specific access to relatively warm air.   

       Pykrete is the obvious building material. <link>
bs0u0155, Mar 24 2014

       bs0u0155, every place on Earth radiates heat into space. What warmth exists at the poles in winter is there either as residual heat from the summer, or as heat carried in from the winds at any altitude. With a miles-high wall, the amount of heat brought in by winds will be greatly reduced, because walls block wind, and because air at altitude is less dense and therefore carries less energy, but the heat radiating to space would remain almost the same, although decrease a little as temperatures fall. The effect could be enhanced also, by painting the interior walls black at any point low enough that it is never in sunlight.
Kansan101, Mar 24 2014

       You could permanently cool the Earth by dumping durable highly reflective balls into the oceans. Eventually they would accumulate in the mid-Ocean gyres. This is probably a bad idea, but would probably be cheaper than a tower. (And on the day that you realised how deadly the cooling effects are, you could just shoot missile into the raft to destroy it.)   

       Of course this could also be done in pycrete.
skoomphemph, Mar 24 2014

       //but would probably be cheaper than a tower// Cheaper, but way less cool.
bs0u0155, Mar 24 2014

       ... and when the CO2 is all frosty, just stuff it into a pipeline, shipping it back to use for air-conditioning and short-range vehicle propulsion.
FlyingToaster, Mar 24 2014

       This reads the the setup to a scifi movie. Thinking CGI spectacle I am not sure a Lake Nyos from on high would make for awesome special effects. Just stuff choking and dying.   

       Probably the dam failing and liquid nitrogen rolling over the land would be cooler. So to speak. Invisible waves knocking stuff down, freezing it and carrying it away. Maybe the sequel to Frozen can have something like that.   

       Now I am thinking about a ship sailing on the ocean of liquid nitrogen. You could power it with a heat source behind the ship, gasifying the N2 locally and creating expanding gases to push the ship. That gives me another idea! Good coffee this morning I guess.
bungston, Mar 26 2014


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