Why does the United Arab Emirates plan to carry an iceberg to its shores?

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An ice block contains more than 75 billion liters of fresh water and is sufficient to supply one million people for 5 years

National Advisor Bureau Limited (UAE)

National Advisor Bureau Limited plans to tow icebergs from Antarctica to the United Arab Emirates to address the problem of freshwater shortages, Gulf News reported.

Sulaiman Al Shehi, CEO of the company, commented that “on average a giant iceberg contains about 20 billion gallons of fresh water (approximately 75.708 million liters), enough to supply one million people for five years.”

The company has already begun the work of modeling the transport routes and the different variables through simulators. The ice blocks would be extracted from Heard Island, some 1,000 kilometers off the Antarctic coast. It would transport them traveling 8,800 kilometers to Fujairah, one of the seven emirates that make the UAE.

“Our simulator predicts that it will take up to a year to tow an iceberg to the UAE,” he said. The project begins in early 2018.

Icebergs do not melt easily, as up to 80% of massive structures are under the water line and exposed ice reflects sunlight and does not easily absorb heat from the sun. The large blocks of ice would remain between 60 and 90 days, says the company.

Another benefit of the project, according to Sulaiman Al Shehi, is that the cold air from an iceberg located near the shores of the Arabian Sea would cause an atmospheric hole, which would favor local climate change. The UAE is one of the most arid countries in the world and is on the list of the 10 countries that suffer most from water scarcity.

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