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Man-made Atlantic Archipelago

Create an artificial landmass in the Atlantic Ocean, which would be designed to weaken or destroy hurricanes.
 
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Forgive me if this has already been done to death, but I would like to know of all the reasons this possible solution to the annual barrage of Eastcoast-US hurricanes has not yet been implemented (or considered?).

There are extensive data on the history of hurricanes. Many hurricanes occur during summer (in the USA), originating in the Atlantic Ocean, and moving westward into the Caribbean and/or northward along the eastern coast of USA. I propose the creation of an artificial structure, made of durable materials, be built in the most commonly crossed paths of these hurricanes, in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean.

The structure would have to be large enough and strong enough to effectively disrupt the swirling patterns of wind which define hurricanes. The structure would have to contain enough tall structures to significantly slow down winds, and extend far enough in the North-South direction to guide any remaining hurricanes or tropical storms into areas that are not inhabited, to allow it to dissipate.

Possible problems with this idea that occur to me are:
• High cost of building & maintaining such a structure, which would probably be a USA project (since US bears a high risk from these hurricanes)
• Careful choice of durable building materials, to minimize creation of new problems, like pollution
• Possible harm to marine life
• Designing an effective structure, mimicking the structures on islands and coastlands that usually help slow down hurricanes (after destroying them)
• Possible dangerous disruption to Earth's climate or weather patterns

I welcome your input, HBers.

XSarenkaX, Sep 15 2003

(?) Ideas offered by others http://www.sun-sent...sfla-news-hurricane
This one was not found among them [XSarenkaX]

NHC FAQ: "Why don't we try to destroy tropical cyclones by placing a substance on the ocean surface?" http://www.aoml.noa.../hrd/tcfaq/C5b.html
Recommend the rest of the FAQ too. [XSarenkaX, Oct 04 2004, last modified Oct 21 2004]

NHC FAQ: "Why don't we try to destroy tropical cyclones by placing a substance on the ocean surface?" http://www.aoml.noa.../hrd/tcfaq/C5b.html
Recommend the rest of the FAQ too. [waugsqueke, Oct 04 2004]

Palm Island http://www.gulfcons...ion=919&IssueID=221
$3bn project to create an island off Dubai's coast. [stupop, Oct 04 2004]

It would have to be monstrously big http://www.csc.noaa.gov/hurricanes/#
Historical hurricane tracks (you may want to limit to just New Orleans, LA to be able to still see the map) [Klaatu, Dec 16 2011]

[link]






       Just how big are we talking? Big enough to disrupt shipping passages?

Money can be made by incorporating a hotel/lesiure complex; for extreme sports fanatics and the like.
silverstormer, Sep 15 2003
  

       I'm not a scientist, but big enough to make a significant difference in preventing hurricane damage to inhabited lands. I'm guessing it would be similar to the Caribbean cluster of islands.   

       As for shipping passages, I figured on an archipelago design, to allow ships to squeeze through, if they still want to, but since this may be a dangerous area for them, they are probably better off going around.   

       I don't know who would be willing to drop off those crazy extreme sports enthusiasts at this place, but if they wanna, what the hell?
XSarenkaX, Sep 15 2003
  

       When you put in something big enough to stop hurricanes, you're probably gonna screw up weather around the world pretty severely. The result? Major climate changes, probably leading to all kinds of famines, extinctions, etc.
squire, Sep 15 2003
  

       I realize climates may be changed, but meteorologists might have some insight into creating something just big enough to make the benefits outweigh the costs. I can't imagine hurricanes are good for us in some way, but it is possible that stopping them from reaching the US may cause problems in and of itself.
XSarenkaX, Sep 15 2003
  

       Would it be called Wind-break Island?
silverstormer, Sep 15 2003
  

       // ...big enough to make a significant difference in preventing hurricane damage to inhabited lands. I'm guessing it would be similar to the Caribbean cluster of islands. //   

       You're talking enormously huge. The width of Florida is frequently not large enough to put a dent in hurricanes that cross it. Certainly none of the Carribean islands are, with the possible exception of Hispanola and Cuba, and that's only if a storm strikes them exactly the right way. Even then, the storms eventually make it out over warm water and strengthen again.   

       The intent is certainly appreciated but the plan has no chance of working.   

       The quickest way to kill a hurricane is to figure out some way to cool the waters below it. But again you're talking about enormous quantities, and it's just not humanly feasable.
waugsqueke, Sep 15 2003
  

       If you make it "Big" enough...elephants may become indigenous to the US.
silverstormer, Sep 15 2003
  

       What if the structure funneled the winds down into the water? Would that "kill" the storm?
XSarenkaX, Sep 15 2003
  

       I need more information on what you mean when you say "funneled the winds". At first glance, it hardly seems possible.   

       I do recommend you read that FAQ. It's hard to grasp exactly the sheer size of the forces at work in a tropical system.
waugsqueke, Sep 15 2003
  

       I'm just brainstorming. The funnel I envisioned would be a large curving wall-type structure on the archipelago, which would curve ever downward (like surf waves) the further north it followed, eventually curving air currents down into the sea. Again, it would have to be massive and have some very strong support materials to withstand the fury of those winds.
XSarenkaX, Sep 15 2003
  

       How about exquisitely (if vainly) coordinated fleets of giant butterflies stationed in China, on Mars, &c.?
n-pearson, Sep 16 2003
  

       Oops - thanks. I've made the spelling corrections.
XSarenkaX, Sep 16 2003
  

       Actually, nature has already blessed most of the length of the Eastern Seaboard with a series of barrier islands. The only real problem is that people then went and built on them. If we stopped trying to cast our geography in stone, and abandoned these glorified sand banks to return to the mobile buffers they previously were, we would see a lot less property damage with each storm.   

       But there is so much energy in a hurricane, you're not going to have any significant impact on it with any manmade structure.
DrCurry, Sep 16 2003
  

       // If we stopped trying to cast our geography in stone, and abandoned these glorified sand banks to return to the mobile buffers they previously were ... //   

       Yes and no. It's true that people who build on the beach in hurricane-prone areas such as the Outer Banks are basically asking for it. But in actual fact most of the damage from the worst recent storms has not occured in these areas. Flooding, much of it inland, has been the major culprit in most of the recent storms in North Carolina and Texas. And Andrew wiped on the more-or-less inland town of Homestead in '92. (Poor building codes were greatly responsible there.)
waugsqueke, Sep 16 2003
  

       I just like the idea of a man-made archipelago, forget the hurricane-busting aspect.   

       Imagine the shapes we can create, nevermind the names for these islands.   

       Shapes: Mickey Mouse, Smiley Face, Satanic Star, Penis, Boobs. Each shape could represent what actually goes on, on the island.. Or we can put the disney resort on penis island -- Like what happened with Greenland/Iceland...
mahatma, Sep 17 2003
  

       Define normal?
silverstormer, Sep 17 2003
  

       [silverstormer] maybe Break-Wind Island? maybe to do good, you could try to direct the winds/rain towards places of drought. we can make the sahara habitable yet! of course, we could try to direct hurricanes towards countries that we don't like... the would require some moveable parts though
bigtxgrandma, Sep 17 2003
  

       Don't you mean the MUSICAL fruit? (First you eat it, then you toot.)
XSarenkaX, Sep 18 2003
  

       This would be a bitch to build. I don't think you'd manage it with concrete even if you had huge floating factories with constant material deliveries.   

       You'd probably have to do something more drastic like nuke the ocean floor to get it to rupture and spew up some lava, or you could always resort to the old HB favourite and somehow dismantle part of the moon and crash it into the Atlantic.
stupop, Sep 18 2003
  

       There will be absolutely no nuking for this project!
XSarenkaX, Sep 18 2003
  

       A J. G. Ballard novel, Hello America, covered a similiar idea. Lots of unintended consequences, desertification, a hole continent uninhabitable, wacko survivors in California. I can hardly wait. What's wrong with a tropical cyclone anyway? They are a great way to clean out the dead wood as it were. Now Nor'easters, there's a menace that must be stopped before they kill again. Remeber Hurricanes don't kill people, people with hurricanes kill people.
jrzx15, Sep 18 2003
  

       //Remeber Hurricanes don't kill people, people with hurricanes kill people//

People in hurricanes kills people.
silverstormer, Sep 18 2003
  

       budda, Bliss: I missed you too. Nice to have been missed. Central Park Picinic !!! DARN !! Can't believe I missed it !!!!   

       Let's just say that I was using my "exploding resume" to it's fullest potential, because I overused my "still out of the office accessories"..   

       ;-) This halfbakery is too addictive.. I had to pull back. Nice to see you're doing splendidly (I hope)   

       re:Archipelago. How about instead of creating an archipelago to stop the hurricane, we create a COUNTER HURRICANE (presumably spinning in the opposite direction) and have a battle-bot kind of contest !   

       Imagine the Uniforms !
mahatma, Sep 18 2003
  

       //Imagine the Uniforms//

Shhhhhh!!!! You'll awaken [8th]...on 2nd thoughts, nice one!
silverstormer, Sep 18 2003
  

       [mahatma]: //create a COUNTER HURRICANE (presumably spinning in the opposite direction)//   

       Yes, YES! Now we're thinking! Get this guy a grant.
XSarenkaX, Sep 19 2003
  

       // The quickest way to kill a hurricane is to figure out some way to cool the waters below it. //   

       How about towing a fleet of icebergs down from the North Atlantic?
stupop, Sep 19 2003
  

       Melting our polar ice caps a little bit at a time? Wouldn't this cause the sea levels to rise? Catastrophe! No?
XSarenkaX, Sep 19 2003
  

       [XSarenkaX] Look...Do you want these hurricanes destroyed or not? Well?
stupop, Sep 21 2003
  

       XSX, you have a recursive link there.
waugsqueke, Sep 21 2003
  

       I don't know how that happened, but I couldn't find the maps I originally found, so I just deleted the link altogether.   

       In case anyone feels like looking for it, it was a bunch of maps of the Atlantic with dots representing the various starting points of hurricanes in the past, by month, I believe, during hurricane season.
XSarenkaX, Sep 23 2003
  

       As an atmospheric science major, I just have to poke my head into this:   

       To actually BLOCK the hurricane you'd need a mountain-sized archipelago, and that would entail its own severe consequences downwind. Do consider that much of the moisture on the southeastern seaboard is due in part to the effects of hurricanes, or storm activity in the aftermath of hurricanes. The hot, humid climate of this region is largely created by seasonal heavy rains and storms, and building a two or three kilometer-tall wall would cause this area to dry by orders of magnitude.   

       Engineering problems aside ( + for the sheer audacity of this idea ) you'd have to deal with the possible severe climatic changes caused by erecting a 200-500 km long artificial mountain range in the Atlantic.   

       Now, we can offset the wind and storm surge damage caused by hurricanes by simply restoring the wetlands endemic to this region. The channels and streams, and plant matter of wetlands and jungle help to funnel the storm surge into many branching channels, reducing flooding, and the fractal landscape of foliage acts as a frictional block, reducing surface-level winds.   

       All we'd have to do is resettle about ten or twenty kilometers inland and let nature take its due course.
qt75rx1, Mar 13 2008
  

       //I realize climates may be changed, but meteorologists might have some insight into creating something just big enough to make the benefits outweigh the costs.//   

       The benefits NEVER outweigh the costs, for a depressing reason. Suppose your system deflects 10 major hurricanes which might otherwise have killed 1000 people. Suppose also that it deflects them to a less inhabited area such that they kill 100 people.   

       The problem is that there are one hundred families who can tell you that their loved ones have been killed, but there are not 1000 families who can tell you that their loved ones have been saved.   

       The same principal applies in many situations. It was argued that keeping British Summer Time all year round would lead to an overall reduction in child road injuries. It was tried, and the number of children injured and killed on the roads did indeed decrease. But, the few children who died on the now- darker mornings had names, whereas the many who were saved by the lighter evenings did not. So, the scheme was abandoned.
MaxwellBuchanan, Mar 13 2008
  

       // J. G. Ballard novel, Hello America, covered a similiar idea. Lots of unintended consequences, desertification, a hole continent uninhabitable, wacko survivors in California. I can hardly wait./   

       ... I love how people will reference a piece of fiction writing and simply assume that whatever happened in the book is an accurate prediction of what would happen in real life.
Custardguts, Mar 14 2008
  

       That kinda stuff flies here, in the HB. ;)
XSarenkaX, Apr 01 2008
  

       wow MaxwellBuchanan, Thats tragically stupid of the whole country...
Voice, Apr 04 2008
  

       //I'm not a scientist, but big enough to make a significant difference in preventing hurricane damage to inhabited lands//
VJW, Dec 16 2011
  

       Looking at historical hurricane maps <link>, you would have to cover the entire Caribbean.
Klaatu, Dec 16 2011
  

       So you've never visited us then [Voice]?
nineteenthly, Dec 16 2011
  

       What you people don't realize is that this has already been done. If we'd known people would be dumb enough to move into Florida, Georgia, Maine and all the rest, we'd never have built them in the first place.
MaxwellBuchanan, Dec 18 2011
  
      
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