Sunday, October 30, 2011

Desert "glacier" looks to mix art, science

CBS News - Is it a piece of art, or a groundbreaking water experiment in the desert?

Take the design of a leaf — nature's master at absorbing the sun's energy — and cover its 2,153 square feet surface with solar cells. Under the face of the elm leaf-shape structure are cooling condensers that soak up humidity from the desert air. Even in the hottest conditions, it will produce a layer of ice on the leaf's ridged underside — so the theory goes.

Ap Verheggen's vision of creating a "glacier" in the desert is a statement. It's not meant to solve the world's ever-worsening water problems, but to demonstrate, as he says, that the seemingly impossible is indeed possible.

For the Dutch artist, his sculpture will be a cry of alarm at the rapid pace of global warming. Impractical in itself...read more.

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