New York City office buildings to be cooled by ice cubes

This animated explanation of global warming from An Inconvenient Truth claims all of our problems can be solved by dumping large ice cubes in the ocean. It's not the only way ice can help save the planet — several large New York City-based companies are actually using large ice cubes to air condition their skyscrapers. It's not as crazy an idea as it sounds: At night, when the energy grid is less strained, dozens of tanks freeze hundreds of gallons of water in a building's basement. Then, during the day, the melting ice creates cool air that's distributed throughout the building in much the same way central air conditioning is. These "ice cooling" systems use less energy overall than traditional air conditioning, especially during the usual energy-use peak hours, saving money and putting less strain on the grid.

There are downsides, though: The systems' prohibitive prohibitive price tag and need for huge amounts of space for water storage means it couldn't be used in smaller buildings or residential homes. But if you want to experience ice cooling now, the Polar Pitcher can help.

ABC News, via TreeHugger