Antarctic Rescue Line

By:  | May - 8 - 2023

Honorable Mention
2023 Skyscraper Competition

Yufeng Lu, Junhao Chen, Jinming Gu, Hanye Lin, Xiaoting Zhao, Yue Wang, Sirun Li, Ruiqi Li, Yutong Jiang, Yuyuan Tao

According to the US National Snow and Ice Data Center(NSIDC), Antarctic sea ice shrank to 1.91 million square kilometers in 2023, the lowest level since records began in 1979. The continent’s glaciers are also melting faster. After the sea ice completely melts, the continent’s glaciers are also in danger. In our study of the melting of the Antarctic ice, we found that the West Antarctic ice is melting at a much faster rate than the east.

We have studied carefully the reasons behind this phenomenon. We found a region in West Antarctica called Mary Byrd Land, where the crustal plate is relatively thin, only 17 kilometers thick. Heat from the Earth’s interior breaks through the Earth’s crust and releases beneath the West Antarctic glaciers, causing them to melt even faster. The upwelling magma from the asthenosphere impinges on the Earth’s crust, forming spectacular rift systems. Measurements show that the area releases 150 milliwatts of geothermal energy per square meter. The underside of the West Antarctic glacier is melting under the heat of the earth, creating spectacular ice caves, the largest of which are more than 38 square kilometers in area.

To minimize the impact of geothermal radiation on glaciers, we plan to block the heat from its source: cracks in the earth’s crust. Because the cracks in the Earth’s crust are so long, we took inspiration for our skyscraper from THE LINE, which is going to be built in Saudi Arabia. Our skyscraper can extend indefinitely depending on the length of the crack, and has the function of converting heat into electricity and making ice.

Our skyscrapers would absorb the heat from the cracks and convert it into electricity, which would then be charged in battery cells. Battery-carrying submarines from other areas will transport the empty batteries here and the full batteries to other areas for use.

In addition, the crown part of our building tower has the function of making ice. The ice created by the building rises upward due to buoyancy. The ice created by skyscrapers in the ice cave will gradually accumulate on the top walls of the cave, strengthening and restoring the glacier. The ice created by skyscrapers outside the caves floats to the surface, increasing the extent of sea ice.

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