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Ice Ice Baby
November 5, 2006 7:52 PM   Subscribe

A giant flotilla of 100 icebergs is passing just 260km off the coast of the South Island (of New Zealand) - the closest the glacial masses have been to this country for 70 years. Maybe all that water could be used for something else?
posted by strawberryviagra (24 comments total)

 
I've heard glacial ice, (also icebergs), melts slower than normal ice. Keeping your drinks colder longer.

Cocktails, anyone?
posted by Balisong at 8:06 PM on November 5, 2006


Yup. The ice crystals in glaciers are larger, so they last longer. This page explains that, and, presumably, why the water around the icebergs in the first link is blue.
posted by gsteff at 8:18 PM on November 5, 2006


I've heard glacial ice, (also icebergs), melts slower than normal ice. Keeping your drinks colder longer.

I'm not sure that the conclusion follows. If the ice melts more slowly, does it not follow that it "absorbs" less energy from the surrounding beverage, thereby not cooling the drink as well?
posted by Kwantsar at 9:03 PM on November 5, 2006


Yes, let's use glacial ice to keep drinks colder longer. It's not like anybody's actually running out of fresh water anywhere.

Say, let's rearrange these deck chairs while we're at it.


(Unfortunately, like most things, the presence of a resource is not always convenient to the location of the shortage.)
posted by dhartung at 9:07 PM on November 5, 2006


When I saw the NZ article I was amazed that someone had actually considered it.

Chin chin.
posted by strawberryviagra at 9:20 PM on November 5, 2006


And from the second page of the link - some interesting bits (the last one's outrageous):

FACING MELTDOWN
# An estimated 3 trillion cubic metres of iceberg water melts into the sea each year. This is almost as much as the 3.3 trillion cubic metres worldwide annual consumption of fresh water

# An iceberg one mile long, 1,000ft wide and 900ft deep would contain 20 billion gallons of fresh water, enough to supply 445,000 families in Britain for a year

# At most, only one fifth of an iceberg is visible above the waves. The rest is under water. Icebergs can extend 2,400ft deep, more than three times the height of Canary Wharf

# Captain James Cook, the 18th-century explorer who circumnavigated the world, recognised the potential of icebergs as a source of water for ships

# On January 9, 1773, he wrote: “Melting the ice is a little tedious and takes up some time; otherwise this is the most expeditious way of watering I ever met with”

# During the Second World War Churchill approved an experimental plan for using ice to build unsinkable aircraft carriers. A 60ft model was floated on a Canadian lake before the project was ditched
posted by strawberryviagra at 9:27 PM on November 5, 2006


The amount of energy to melt ice to 32 degrees (water), is the same energy to get 32 degree water to 140 degrees. Once the ice is gone... things heat up quick
posted by stbalbach at 9:31 PM on November 5, 2006


When I saw the NZ article I was amazed that someone had actually considered it.

Well, nutters have been suggesting we tow iceburgs to Australia for years.
posted by Jimbob at 9:35 PM on November 5, 2006


The amount of energy to melt ice to 32 degrees (water), is the same energy to get 32 degree water to 140 degrees.

Wha...?

A calorie is a calorie is a calorie. They're not worth less and less as the temperature increases...?
posted by frogan at 9:58 PM on November 5, 2006


latent heat of fusion for water is 334.5 J/g; specific heat capacity for water is 4.184 J/g-K. so the energy required to melt 1 gram of ice is equivalent to the energy required to raise the temperature of 1g of water by 79 K. 79 K is about 140 degrees F, which is where i think stbalbach's number comes from.

how is it relevant to anything though? ya got me there.
posted by sergeant sandwich at 10:20 PM on November 5, 2006


frogan: calories refer to liquid water, not ice :)
posted by Heywood Mogroot at 10:21 PM on November 5, 2006


This brings to mind a maths assignment we had to do in year 10 (bear with me, it was a little while ago!) about the possibility of towing icebergs.

After ringing up tug boat and cable companies (!) for help I finally found the guy at the Melbourne Uni geology department who knew about a Saudi prince who had commissioned a study into the possibility of towing from Antarctica to the Middle East to ease water shortages (Google now tells me that it was more then a study, it was an entire conference ).
posted by prettypretty at 10:23 PM on November 5, 2006


Yes, let's use glacial ice to keep drinks colder longer. It's not like anybody's actually running out of fresh water anywhere. Say, let's rearrange these deck chairs while we're at it.

There you go, turning water into whine.
posted by hal9k at 3:55 AM on November 6, 2006


From the article in the first link:

But it was unlikely to be related to global warming.

...then what is it related to?

And as for using icebergs for water, why not use them for something better than water?
posted by stokast at 5:03 AM on November 6, 2006


A calorie is a calorie is a calorie.

Water has really strange and remarkable properties. Here's another one: if you put a glass of cold water, and a glass of hot water (boiling?) in the freezer, the hot water will freeze first.
posted by stbalbach at 5:46 AM on November 6, 2006


That's bizarre - how so?
posted by strawberryviagra at 5:49 AM on November 6, 2006


how is it relevant to anything though?

Seems pretty obvious. Think of the earth as a giant glass of water with ice cubes in it (the poles). If the ice cubes are melting (net loss), it takes a lot of energy to do that, and as the ice cubes get smaller the water gets warmer - until a tipping point is reached and the glass of water quickly goes from cold to warm.
posted by stbalbach at 5:56 AM on November 6, 2006


That's bizarre - how so?

Ahh this may be a myth, with some basis in fact. Here's some info. And more info.
posted by stbalbach at 6:03 AM on November 6, 2006


Strawberryviagra : The magic word for the iceberg battleship is Pykecrete. Details on building your own under the link. :)
posted by Orb2069 at 6:09 AM on November 6, 2006


Has anyone seen a nice set of pictures of these babies? I can no longer read effectively thanks to this here internet, but I'd love to look at some pictures of that stuff.
posted by OmieWise at 6:23 AM on November 6, 2006


That pykrete thing is awesome!
posted by OmieWise at 6:26 AM on November 6, 2006


Water ice can be extremely bizarre. And yes, there really is such a thing as Ice IX (no, not the other Ice 9)
posted by Pastabagel at 7:02 AM on November 6, 2006


Water Ice? Isn't that a drink in Philly? I -do- understand they call it "wudder ice" up theres.

As for me, I prefer a Plum Street Snowball, in the Chinese Food takeaway pail.
posted by The Giant Squid at 7:40 AM on November 6, 2006


Water has really strange and remarkable properties. Here's another one: if you put a glass of cold water, and a glass of hot water (boiling?) in the freezer, the hot water will freeze first.

Ahh this may be a myth, with some basis in fact. Here's some info. And more info.

It's called the Mpemba effect and it has nothing to do with water spesifically.

You want to know something really strange about water? If you heat it up to 100 degrees in a microwave, and heat it up to 100 degrees in an oven, the water heated up in a microwave will cool faster. In fact, the water heated up in a microwave actually contains less heat energy per unit of temprature.
posted by Paris Hilton at 11:57 AM on November 6, 2006


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