loading page

“First Do No Harm” Approaches to Restoring Arctic Albedo
  • Leslie Field,
  • Alexander Sholtz
Leslie Field
Ice911 Research; Stanford University

Corresponding Author:leslie@ice911.org

Author Profile
Alexander Sholtz
Ice911 Research
Author Profile


The Earth’s Arctic ice cover has diminished rapidly. NOAA reported last December that 95% of the most-reflective multi-year ice has disappeared over the past 40 years. The effects of this lost reflectivity in the Arctic is to increase the net energy influx to the Arctic accelerating heating locally and worldwide, as well as affecting the jet stream, all leading to increasing climate-related impacts on populations and ecosystems worldwide. When considering any interventions to attempt to restore global ecosystems, the safety and reversibility of these interventions must be considered a key metric. As an example, the focus of our work is to restore a natural ecosystem (reflective multi-year ice in the Arctic) that was there until very recently. Our focus is on using a safe material, hollow glass microspheres, made of components (primarily silica) that are ubiquitous in the Earth’s ecosystem, and that are not in a respirable range, and that do not have a tendency to take up oil-based or other toxic pollutants. We will detail these and further safety considerations in such approaches in our presentation.