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Ice Stupas of Ladakh

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https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/apr/22/the-ice-stupas-of-ladakh-solving-water-crisis-in-the-high-desert-of-himalaya

 

The idea crystallised in his mind one morning as Sonam Wangchuk was crossing a bridge in the Indian Himalayas.

 

The engineer from Ladakh, in the Jammu region of north India, was already a famous problem solver: a Bollywood film loosely based on his life had grossed a billion rupees in its first four days.

 

But addressing the water shortages that threatened life in his mountainous home had started to feel like an intractable problem until he saw the chunk of ice: still hanging, improbably, beneath the bridge, long after the shards around it had melted.

 

In that moment, he says, “I understood that it was not the warmth of the sun that was melting the ice on the ground. It was direct sunlight.”

 

What Wangchuck saw reflected in the ice that day was realised four years ago, when he unveiled his first “ice stupa”, an artificial glacier that towered surreally over the otherwise arid landscape, and for which in December he received a prestigious £80,000 innovation prize.

 

 

 

Brilliant!  We need more people like this in the world.

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Fascinating. I understand that there are pipes under the ground where the water 'hovers between a liquid and solid state. Then the pipes turn skywards, spraying the water into -20C air, using the bitter cold to freeze it as it falls to earth'.  I still don't understand if it a pump is involved or due to physics and changes in temperature from night to day, the process runs by itself (I'd assume?). 

 

Seems to me the pipe would freeze up on top, but maybe not.  High up things work differently. 

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Fascinating. I understand that there are pipes under the ground where the water 'hovers between a liquid and solid state. Then the pipes turn skywards, spraying the water into -20C air, using the bitter cold to freeze it as it falls to earth'.  I still don't understand if it a pump is involved or due to physics and changes in temperature from night to day, the process runs by itself (I'd assume?). 

 

Seems to me the pipe would freeze up on top, but maybe not.  High up things work differently. 

 

 

could be syphonage

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Fascinating. I understand that there are pipes under the ground where the water 'hovers between a liquid and solid state. Then the pipes turn skywards, spraying the water into -20C air, using the bitter cold to freeze it as it falls to earth'. I still don't understand if it a pump is involved or due to physics and changes in temperature from night to day, the process runs by itself (I'd assume?).

 

Seems to me the pipe would freeze up on top, but maybe not. High up things work differently.

Gravity-fed. The source is uphill.

 

Water under pressure has a lower freezing point (this is also how ice skates work, BTW...)

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