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World Flood Dams

Polar ice caps melting and your local plumber is on vacation? Dam it.
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The most pressing problem for the world in a few years/decades is the overflooding of the world's coasts due to melting ice and stuff.
I propose to build giant dams that package excess water. Perhaps giant boxes (consisted of four dams that enclose a certain area) that sit in the middle of the ocean and try not to take up too much space. The height of the "box" will determine how much water it holds. Thus, a very tall box will hold much water and have a small base so it doesn't take too much space in the ocean (if it did, then it would add to the coastal flooding because it takes up space) I suppose it'll only hold so much, but we can always make the dams taller to hold more. Fixing cracks in the dams will be a pain, but we'll surely discover some way to remedy any problems.

Sorry for the shoddy description/writing. I'm usually a better writer. I'm really tired right now.
June.3.2002 12:03AM EST
Spread, Jun 03 2002

Alternative to coastal dams http://www.halfbake...Global_20Thermostat
I posted this as an idea instead of annotating here (had annotated similarly elsewhere, but it is now gone). [Vernon, Jun 09 2002, last modified Oct 04 2004]

The ice cap is actually getting thicker http://english.hsil...p?index=5454&page=K
Perhaps we should get our hairdryers out...? [DrCurry]

Caspian Sea http://www.halfbake.../idea/Caspian_20Sea
Version of Greybeard's idea--flood the Caspian basin. [DrCurry, Jun 09 2002, last modified Oct 21 2004]

Caspian Sea http://www.halfbake.../idea/Caspian_20Sea
Version of Greybeard's idea--flood the Caspian basin. [scottinmn, Oct 05 2002, last modified Oct 04 2004]

[link]






       I agree, the melting ice is bad, but the melting stuff is by far the most dangerous problem humans are faced with.   

       //Fixing cracks in the dams will be a pain, but we'll surely discover some way to remedy any problems.//   

       Yes we will. We'll use magic!
mighty_cheese, Jun 03 2002
  

       why not just pump the water back up onto to the ice caps and let it freeze agian. Ofcourse I know that will be alot of pumping, but then again the sun shines almost 20 hours a day on the polar regions so I guess they could be solar powered, or wind powered given the extreme ocean currents in the North atlantic. But twice that amount of pumping and structural engineering would be required to build a containment column.
wood2coal, Jun 03 2002
  

       Make the giant boxes out of really thick insulation so they float. Tow the boxes to the north pole during its winter and to the antarctic during its winter.
FarmerJohn, Jun 03 2002
  

       Just go with the flow. Check your topographical maps. Follow the elevation line that corresponds to the latest predicted rise in ocean elevation. Will it be three feet? (sorry--my stream of conciousness is still in our crappy U.S. measurement system) Ten feet? Two hundred feet? Then proceed to find the future international port cities, which are now sleepy inland crossroads. Buy up future harbor frontage there and simply wait.
entremanure, Jun 03 2002
  

       We could pump it into the low-lying areas around the Dead Sea, flood the middle east, and solve 2 problems in one?
pottedstu, Jun 03 2002
  

       Flooding the middle east won't solve any problems, it'll only increase the land value and make people fight harder.
mighty_cheese, Jun 03 2002
  

       ¯wood2coal: I don't like the thought of firming up the polar ice caps by pumping water onto them to refreeze. Until I hear otherwise, I believe that the poles contain most of the world's ‘fresh’ water -- a reality I don't want to mess with.   

       Show that surface ocean water is of a low enough specific gravity that it would freeze if pumped deep into the artic seas and discharged at sufficient depth to allow ice cubes to form and to float up to the surface under the present ice caps, and I'll agree to that after I'm done laughing.
reensure, Jun 03 2002
  

       I don't know what the dams will be made of. Therefore, I cannot propose a solution to cracks in the dams. They can be made of any number of materials that can contain water without corroding but fixinf them varies according to the different material. So magic_cheese...fick off. =P

Okay, look, instead of transporting the water back to the north or south pole (which would take up too much time and would cost thousands, if not millions, of dollars per trip, or pouring the water back onto the ice caps to re-freeze it (which would never work...just trust me), this one time job would trap the water in a container large in height but small in length and width.
June.3.2002 6:22PM EST
Spread, Jun 03 2002
  

       wouldn't trust you with a french stick .
po, Jun 03 2002
  

       Trust me.
Have you ever had a bunch of ice cubes in a tray? When the ice cubes melt, the water seeps down and chills on the tray. If you poured the water back onto the ice, the water will not refreeze. Fine, we're not talking about a tray of ice cubes here but it's impossible to keep doing this. Go ahead, pour thousands of gallons of water on a polar ice cap. See what happens.
Keep an open mind, please.
And what's a French stick?
6.3.2002 10:16PM EST
Spread, Jun 04 2002
  

       I would like everyone to know that my favorite sentence *ever* is:
"Okay, look, instead of transporting the water back to the north or south pole (which would take up too much time and would cost thousands, if not millions, of dollars per trip, or pouring the water back onto the ice caps to re-freeze it (which would never work...just trust me)"
  

       If I could fit it on a bumper sticker, I would.
phoenix, Jun 04 2002
  

       I completely agree that pumping water back to the ice caps is not a realistic solution to global warming, I was simply providng a theoretical comparison, to the idea of building a world flood dam. But I also just realised that we would be dealing with salt water being pumped back to the ice caps, opps that would just make them melt faster. And Speader the water will have to be continously pumped into the containment column, I don't think you realise Dams don't really block water they simply create a head loss (reducing the energy of the outflow water and using the enrgy saved to power turbines). The water from the outflow would have to be pumped back into the column agian. And don't get me started on earthquakes.   

       And reensure our source of fresh water are lakes and ground water, and both these sources are continuously resupplied when it rains and by rivers. So quantity wise we will really never run out of fresh water, quality is a diferent matter.
wood2coal, Jun 04 2002
  

       no, go on. Get started on earthquakes; I for one want to hear about it.
fraggle, Jun 04 2002
  

       Pump the excess water into places that have no immediate outlet to the sea, such as the Salt Lake Basin, Salton Sea and Death Valley areas of California, Northern Nevada, and similar places in Africa and the Middle East. Evaporation of the seas created would increase rainfall in surrounding areas and offshore breezes would moderate temperatures. Recreational facilities (marinas) should be included.
Graybeard, Jun 04 2002
  

       name like spread and you don't know what a french stick is? tut
po, Jun 04 2002
  

       //The hydrogen will drift off into space//   

       You are joking, right? Right?
yamahito, Jun 04 2002
  

       I think he's as serious as a jaybird in heat.   

       ¯Graybeard: I like that super idea of evaporating the ocean from Death Valley. I further think that the best way to go about it is to discharge the pumped in seawater from a mountainside and let it cascade down to the valley. The residual salt let by this torrent could eventually be sculpted by water into a saltwater amusement park with waterslides and buoyant pools of all sizes.
reensure, Jun 04 2002
  

       it was really only that sentence that induced my disbelief - and the possibility that you might not be joking... Spread's idea, I'm afraid to say, never had any danger of holding water.   

       Lens? Please!
yamahito, Jun 06 2002
  

       free hydrogen in the atmosphere won't escape to space! If it manages to avoid any atmospheric electrical discharges, it may settle fairly high up in the atmosphere, but it still weighs, so will be subject to gravity.. Perhaps i'm missing something: please explain your reasoning on this..   

       I also like reensure's idea...
yamahito, Jun 07 2002
  

       No problems - I was just beginning to get a bit paranoid there about my own understanding of the world, and which bit of it someone had neglected to tell me about...
yamahito, Jun 07 2002
  

       // <science geek> All this talk of saltwater not freezing is ridiculous. Salt water freezes at zero degrees Farenheit. Pump it to a place where it is perpetually colder than that and it will remain frozen forever.</science geek> //   

       <science geekier>The problem is the 'perpetually colder' part. You're not removing heat from the overall system by this, you're simply moving it around inside the system, which won't help. As much water will melt away as you add to it.</science geekier>   

       Another factor: the ocean's salt is a key component in maintaining the global climate. Without the salt stirring the oceans around, England would get nippy.
RayfordSteele, Jun 08 2002
  

       Hydrogen, space: as hydrogen is the lightest gas it does tend to escape any planet more easily than, say, oxygen. My understanding is that the more massive the planet the better it retains even light gasses over time, but phenomena like collisions with micrometeorites, high-energy particles in cosmic rays, and the solar wind give gas molecules in the upper atmosphere a chance of escaping into space.   

       That said, it's a very slow process I believe. (Sorry, my pedanticism is showing.)
Dog Ed, Jun 09 2002
  

       // <science geekier>The problem is the 'perpetually colder' part. You're not removing heat from the overall system by this, you're simply moving it around inside the system, which won't help. As much water will melt away as you add to it.</science geekier> //   

       <science geekiest>I agree with ravenswood in disputing this. You are in fact losing heat from the system (if by the system you mean the earth) because the entire surface of the earth radiates heat into space at night, heat which is lost to the system. If there is more warm material at the poles, the poles will radiate more heat than usual. And since you have moved water from the areas which receive most solar energy, there will be less material getting warmed at the equator, so the overall heat energy in the system will be lower. Thus giving you your overall cooling effect.</science geekiest>
pottedstu, Jun 11 2002
  

       [pottedstu] That sentence is in running for the second funniest here.
phoenix, Jun 12 2002
  

       //I would like everyone to know that my favorite sentence *ever* is: "Okay, look, instead of transporting the water back to the north or south pole (which would take up too much time and would cost thousands, if not millions, of dollars per trip, or pouring the water back onto the ice caps to re-freeze it (which would never work...just trust me)"//   

       What the heck is so funny about it? The missing parenthesis? Go waste your time crapping on someone else's idea. =P   

       //Spread seems to think that water is something bad, and that we need to reduce the amount we have.// ravenswood, water is not good when it floods all of our coastal lands.
Spread, Jun 15 2002
  

       As someone said, flood the worthless low areas. Flood Death Valley, the Dead Sea, and the Great Rift Valley. All that has to be done is to dig a 10' wide, 10' deep ditch to the ocean. Erosion would do the rest in a flash. This should affect enough of a drop in sea level to take the pressure off of the LA Gulf Coast, Houston, the Low Countries, and Venice. Just think of all that extra land, and all those great new fishing waters!
bobad, Jun 11 2004
  
      
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