Climate Restoration Solution to be Tested on Sea Ice

Update: Due to COVID-19 our Canadian sea ice tests have been pushed back to winter 2020.


Rigorous, controlled testing will allow the nonprofit to measure important climate modeling variables on sea ice

DAVOS, Switzerland (World Economic Forum), January 21, 2020 – Ice911 Research today announced it will begin testing on sea ice next month utilizing the University of Manitoba’s Sea-ice Environmental Research Facility (SERF) in Winnipeg, Canada. Under rigorously controlled conditions in a contained experimental site, these tests will provide the highest quality data to date about the performance of Ice911’s Arctic sea ice albedo modification solution.

This is an extremely important step in Ice911’s work and will be the organization’s first tests on sea ice. Generous donations and a growing network of connections with sea ice experts worldwide now allow the team to undertake these tests, which follow years of lake tests in multiple U.S. locations, including Alaska.

The Sea-ice Environmental Research Facility (SERF) in Winnipeg, Canada. Photo credit: Dr. Fei Wang.

The Sea-ice Environmental Research Facility (SERF) in Winnipeg, Canada. Photo credit: Dr. Fei Wang.

“From this work, we’ll further quantify the albedo-enhancing effect of our approach under various conditions, and its effect on ice preservation. This information will be key in our further collaborations with the climate modeling community to predict impacts of our approach in strategic areas of the Arctic,” said Dr. Field, Founder and CEO of Ice911 Research. “Continued rigorous testing will provide crucial information to international organizations so they can make impartial decisions about governance, permitting and funding. The implementation of our ice restoration solution is needed to help reduce climate risks worldwide while the world’s nations complete their needed transition to sustainable energy and transportation solutions.”

The SERF site is already equipped with a standard instrument package for scientific testing, and Ice911 Research will bring additional customized equipment to measure albedo (reflectivity) in the visible and infrared spectral ranges. This effort at the SERF facility, in conjunction with laboratory tests, enables Ice911 Research to make further strides in its work to develop and test safe and effective albedo modification to preserve and restore Arctic sea ice.

“This is a tremendous moment for Ice911 Research and the climate restoration movement as we work to preserve Arctic ice and ensure a habitable planet for future generations,” said Rick Parnell, CEO of Foundation for Climate Restoration. “We are thrilled that further testing will be completed to ensure the solution is safe, viable and scalable while setting the standard in ice solutions.”

Ice911 Research will begin testing at SERF in February and will continue until the melt at the test facility is complete. The team’s objective is to quantify the behavior and persistence of microsphere-treated Arctic sea ice, compared to untreated control Arctic ice.Field adds, “We look forward to these tests, and to further developing our partnerships with the University of Manitoba and other sea ice testing facilities worldwide, as we bring our solution closer and closer to completion to ready it for use by the international community at scale.”

Why Arctic ice matters
The region plays a critical role in maintaining a safe and stable global climate. For the past 700,000 years, Arctic ice has acted as the Earth’s heat shield by reflecting incoming solar radiation safely back to space, keeping us at an even temperature. The risks of an ice-free Arctic include accelerating temperature rise, as well as increased release of more greenhouse gases from melting permafrost deposits. The disappearance of the Arctic’s summer sea ice cover is one of the most visible warning signs of severe climate change and is already having consequences that are felt all over the world.

Ice911 Research’s solution
The team has spent the past decade testing and developing material approaches that could be used to make young, thin ice reflective. They are now focused on using reflective hollow glass microspheres, a material chosen for its safety, effectiveness, and practicality. These microspheres can be thought of as a kind of small, fine, white beach sand that floats. In a sense, the material is a lot like snow. The reflective beads stick to ice and water on contact, and their chemical composition ensures they don’t attract oil-based pollutants.

Media inquiries: Please see the Arctic Ice Project Media Kit

About Ice911 Research
Ice911 Research is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit dedicated to restoring the Arctic ice and polar habitat. Its mission is to develop, test, model, and evaluate for safety, and then prove to the world that it can preserve and restore Arctic ice in a safe and cost-effective way. The team is working to establish international policy, governance, and funding for the adoption of its solution by local communities, governments, and global institutions.