Posting in Energy
Scientists say they may be able to lessen the impact of hurricanes by using a controversial method called cloud seeding.
Republicans may never need to postpone a national convention again.
Using a method called cloud seeding, scientists at the University of Leeds say they have discovered a way to weaken hurricanes, subsequently alleviating some of the destructive effects these storms have on the Earth. By controlling the clouds from which the storms are formed, researchers say they might even be able to reduce a hurricane’s intensity by an entire category.
The idea is that hurricanes form over warm tropical waters, acquiring energy from the surface of the sea. By cooling that surface down, hurricanes wouldn’t be able to garner as much strength.
“Hurricanes derive their energy from the heat contained in the surface waters of the ocean,” explained Dr. Alan Gadian, one of the study’s authors. “If we are able to increase the amount of sunlight reflected by clouds above the hurricane development region then there will be less energy to feed the hurricanes.”
To drop these temperatures, Gadian’s group proposes sending a fleet of unmanned vehicles to spray droplets of seawater over areas of the ocean prone to hurricanes. Scientists say some of these droplets would rise into the atmosphere, making clouds thicker and more reflective.
Denser clouds would reflect sunlight back into space, reducing sea surface temperatures by what scientists estimate could be at least a few degrees.
One thing to consider, however, is the effects cloud seeding might have on the environment. Because the technique interferes with the atmosphere’s natural cycles, it could result in reductions of rainfall in nearby regions.
“We are clear that cloud seeding should not be deployed until we are sure there will be no adverse consequences regarding rainfall,” Gadian said. “However if our calculations are correct, judicious seeding of maritime clouds could be invaluable for significantly reducing the destructive power of future hurricanes.”
[via Popular Science]
Aug 26, 2012
If this technique was used to dissipate Isaac to protect coastal cities like New Orleans, millions of people in drought stricken states would be really mad they would not get the rain currently headed their way. Leave mother nature alone. That includes not being stupid enough to build coastal cities below sea level.
WHY do you think Isaac turned into a BIG BUST ? Now if they figure out how to CREAT NASTY HURRICANES/ Sunamies, We will need "THE AVENGERS"!!
How about an array of floating solar generated plastic pumps(the kinds we see in fish tanks covering at least 150 sq miles in area) sucking, through means of an attached straw like tube, cooler water from below the surface of the ocean in the projected path of an approaching hurricane. This would change the warm surface temperature of the sea, effectively knocking out the most important variable to a hurricanes source of energy. Any scuba diver will tell you that at thirty feet below the ocean the water temp is much cooler than at the surface even in tropical oceans where hurricanes traverse. This isn't playing God, its just using common sense to save lives and protect a country's economy from devastating destruction equivalent to a few kilotons of nuclear power moving towards you between 20-10 mph. Modules can be assembled the sizes of ten football fields in area and pulled by a fleet of fishing trawlers. Again this should be done with the full knowledge and cooperation of neighbouring countries and only put into effect as hurricanes form and threaten vital interests.
Living in the hurricane-tropical storm belt anything would be appreciated to remove this factor we have to be challenged with between June and November every year but..... before anything is tried please check,double check and triple check. If found feasible surely the Insurance sector would be willing to finance the research ?
Start screwing around with the flaming weather and it will bite you where the Sun does not shine for one thing. Then we will also find ourselves in "Weather Wars" with other countries. Hurricanes bring far more long term benefits to us stupid humans and to the planet than the damage it does to our caves. Leave well enough alone. Do work to lessen our impact on the environmental harm that we do that changes weather rather than trying to change the weather. Goat Roper
There are ALWAYS unforeseen consequences, you know? Case in point: Playing God in Yellowstone. It's been over two decades now, but that book chronicles the attempts of man to play God and manage Nature, to the detriment of Nature. Building dams up and down the west coast destroyed salmon habitat; creating sea walls have altered the natural sand migration process causing some beaches to disappear while others grow; filling in marsh land for agriculture eliminated natural buffers, filtration and critical wildlife ecosystems. It takes, in some cases, decades to understand the consequences of our actions; it also may require several decades for Nature to repair itself from the damage man has created.
I think it's too early to call it a big bust yet. As I write this it's just a few hours away from hitting the Louisiana coast.