BBC: Can painting a mountain restore a glacier?

The first experimental step in an innovative plan to recuperate Peru’s disappearing Andean glaciers involves returning an extinct glacier to its former snowy white color, not by falling snow but by whitewash.

There is debate between those who dismiss the idea as just plain daft and those who praise it as a simple yet brilliant solution.

The idea is based on the simple scientific principle that when sunlight is reflected off the painted white or light-colored surface, solar energy passes back through the atmosphere and out into space, rather than warming the Earth’s surface.

Eduardo Gold, the 55-year-old Peruvian inventor who came up with the scheme, said it would bring about a cooling of the peak’s surface, which in turn would generate a cold micro-climate around the peak producing conditions ripe for the glacier to re-grow.


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