Later this month, Mongolia is to launch one of the world’s biggest ice-making experiments in an attempt to combat the adverse affects of global warming and the urban heat island effect.

The geoengineering trial aims to store freezing winter "coldness" in a giant block of ice that will help to cool and water the city of Ular Bator as it slowly melts during the summer.

The Anglo-Mongolian engineering firm, ECOS & EMI, will try to make ultra-thick slabs of ice by drilling bore holes into the ice that has started to form on the Tuul river. The water will be discharged across the surface, where it will freeze. This process will be repeated at regular intervals throughout the winter.

The company believes that the process could be used to repair permafrost and to create cool parks in cities and that it could be applied anywhere that summers are intolerably hot and winters have at least two months below -5°C.