Scientists in Ulan Bator, Mongolia are planning to save energy in summer by cryogenically preserving winter. They want to encourage extremely thick ice to form on the local river, thus storing up cold temperatures that can later be used to cool the city.
The scientists are artificially creating "naleds," which are slabs of ice up to 22 feet thick. Naleds occur naturally in northern areas, but the plan is to induce them in Ulan Bator's Tuul river. Because these ice layers are so thick, they'll last all the way into summer. At that point, the melting naleds will reduce temperatures across the city, cutting down air conditioner use and saving energy.
You gotta hand it to these scientists — clearly they can take inspiration from anything. In this case, it was Futurama. We're eagerly awaiting Smell-o-scopes.
Mongolia bids to keep city cool with 'ice shield' experiment, Guardian.