No Glaciers? Just Paint the Mountain White!

Blame global warming or not, but there's no mistaking that the Andean glaciers in the mountains of Peru are vanishing. But what to do about it?

A Peruvian inventor named Eduardo Gold has got an idea - brilliant to some, daft to others - that may just work to "regrow" the glaciers. He's painting the mountain top white:

Four men from Licapa, the village which lies further down the valley, don boiler suits and mix the paint from three simple and environmentally-friendly ingredients: lime, industrial egg white and water. The mixture which has been used since Peru's colonial times.

There are no paint brushes, the workers use jugs to splash the whitewash onto the loose rocks around the summit. It is a laborious process but they have whitewashed two hectares in two weeks. They plan is to paint the whole summit, then in due course, two other peaks totalling overall some 70 hectares.

Mr Gold may not be a scientist but his idea is based on the simple scientific principle that when sunlight is reflected off a white or light-coloured surface, solar energy passes back through the atmosphere and out into space, rather than warming the Earth's surface.

The US Energy Secretary, Steven Chu, has endorsed a similar idea using white roofs in the United States - possibly more pragmatic than painting mountains.

Changing the albedo (a measure of how strongly an object reflects light) of the rock surface, would bring about a cooling of the peak's surface, says Mr Gold, which in turn would generate a cold micro-climate around the peak.


Previously on Neatorama: Zebra is a Painted Donkey

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I think it's a great idea, I mean it wouldn't be my first choice, but at least Mr. Gold thinks of an idea.

P.D: Does anyone know what the effects on the wildlife of the Andes would be??
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Yet another example of liberalism as a mental illness. The key phrase in the article: "Mr Gold may not be a scientist".

P.S. It probably isn't doing the wildlife in the area any favors to have their environment coated in lime.
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