A new type of silica glass beads can help save melting glaciers from the onslaught of climate change. The innovative new approach is developed by a company called Ice911. It sprinkles millions of tiny glass beads on glaciers to reflect light shining on their surface and slow down what has become a tremendous pace of melt in the last several years.
What they landed on eventually is a silica-based substance (Silica is a common ingredient in many rocks). It is able to safely supplement thinning ice and help strengthen its resilience against the sun and increasingly warmer weather.
In a paper published by the American Geophysical Union, one field test reported seeing a 15 to 20 percent increase in reflectivity due to the beads. According to the estimate made by a relevant organization, in the Arctic, that could translate into a reduction in 1.5 degree Celsius temperature reduction, a 3-degree reduction in sea temperatures, and an increase in ice thickness up to 20 inches. So far, the new method, which is being tested in Alaska, has been shown to be surprisingly effective.