HOME          CATEGORIES          OUR TAKE

Mongolia bids to keep city cool with ‘ice shield’ experiment

Naled Formation
How to make a 'naled'

Later this month, Mongolia’s capital, Ulan Batar, will implement a strategy to combat the urban heat island effect that occurs during the summer months while also supplying the community with fresh water.  A Mongolian engineering firm, ECOS & EMI, will artificially make naleds, ultra-thick ice sheets that form over frozen streams and rivers, to develop ice shields that will take months to melt.  Typically, the ice that forms over rivers and lakes will become no thicker than a meter and upon reaching this thickness, the ice effectively insulates the water and prevents further freezing.  A naled forms naturally when cracks develop in the ice and allow water to seep out during the day and then freeze adding additional layers of ice at night.  This process results in the formation of naleds up to seven meters thick which in turn take much longer to melt during the spring and summer months.

The idea is to artificially create these naleds on the Tuul river around Ulan Batar by regularly drilling holes in the ice sheets throughout the winter to allow the river water to flow out over the ice, thus thickening the ice sheet.  The naleds would then melt slowly into the summer months keeping the city relatively cool while also contributing to the fresh water supply.  If the strategy is successful, the company is hopeful to provide a cheap and effective model to keep cities cooler throughout the summer that could be easily replicated worldwide.

Nick Hudson

Comment on this article

ClimateYou moderates comments to facilitate an informed, substantive, civil conversation. Abusive, profane, self-promotional, misleading, incoherent or off-topic comments will be rejected. Moderators are staffed during regular business hours (New York time) and can only accept comments written in English.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


More Posts Like This


How We Help to Slow, Stop or Solve Climate Change by a City Tech Blogger

If everyone could stop in a minute to acknowledge the harms we are causing on our planet, what would earth look like in the next 10 years or is it too late?  To quote George Bernard Shaw: “Progress is impossible without change, and those who cannot change their


The Impact of Flooding Due to Climate Change by City Tech Blogger The Urban Environmentalist

Flooding is an natural catastrophe, occurring when an excess of water submerges normally dry ground. Floods in coastal locations are often produced by heavy rainfall, quick snowmelt, or natural disasters such as an storm surge from tropical cyclones. (Blöschl, et al., 2019). Additionally, floods can be produced by excessive

Take action in the fight against climate change