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Steering Sun Shield

Orbital device to prevent the origin of hurricanes
  (+8, -5)
(+8, -5)
  [vote for,
against]

First some reasons for the origin of hurricanes:

- enough area of water (about 500 km diameter)

- Coriolis-effect in the northern or southern hemisphere

- water temperature of 26 to 27 Celsius

I think of an orbital steering sun shield, which can produce a steerable core shade of some 100 km on the water surface to cool down the water under the critical temperature. If not used the SSS could be turned in line between sun and earth. Such device would cost about 50 billions but could amortize in about 30 years.

Don Fuego, Dec 30 2004

Getting serious http://www.scienced...11/061104090409.htm
Some folks getting awards in real life for this [sophocles, Nov 07 2006]

trillions of small free-flying spacecraft http://news.mongaba...2006/1109-nasa.html
The spacecraft would form a long, cylindrical cloud with a diameter about half that of Earth, and about 10 times longer. About 10 percent of the sunlight passing through the 60,000-mile length of the cloud, pointing lengthwise between the Earth and the sun, would be diverted away from our planet. The effect would be to uniformly reduce sunlight by about 2 percent over the entire planet, enough to balance the heating of a doubling of atmospheric carbon dioxide in Earth's atmosphere. [Don Fuego, Nov 12 2006]

[link]






       I've been lead to believe that winds are caused, in large part, by Lepidoptera.
bristolz, Dec 30 2004
  

       Given that hurricanes are picking up their energy from the solar-heated ocean, this is an intriguing idea. Deploying a giant sun-shade shead of hurrianes may well rob them of some of their power or help steer them away from populated areas. Even if it ultimately turns out to be impractical, it's a worthy idea. Croissant.
DrCurry, Dec 30 2004
  

       [Tabs] Sunlight heats water, steam rises, generates low pressure and with it air movement so you have wind and clouds and the Coriolis effect let it circle
Don Fuego, Jan 03 2005
  

       Averting disaster, but playing with weather. Hmm...
Detly, Jan 03 2005
  

       Yes, and there bye depriving millions of sea plants of sunlight which is needed to grow, and starving millions of fish. Also cooling the water down to extremely cold temperatures wiping out thousands of fish and marine habitats. Sorry [-] (yes I am back, cower in fear, mwahaha!)
EvilPickels, Jan 03 2005
  

       Good grief, EP, did you read the idea at all or just start typing?
bristolz, Jan 03 2005
  

       I had just the oposite impression as [EvilPickels]. I suspect that shading the water for a day of two before the huricane arrived wouldn't make much of an impact on the water temperature. How much does the surface temperature of the ocean drop overnight? And having the shade up wouldn't make it as dark as night. It would only block direct sunlight. The rest of th sky would still be bright.   

       I can't imagine this being any worse for the plants than a cloudy day or two.
scad mientist, Jan 03 2005
  

       [scad] A sunblocker with a diameter of 100km would block out pretty much all of the light, especially out at sea, where you won't get reflected light (all sunlight is direct light, after hitting the trees, etc. some small amount is reflected to hit the shade so shadows are not pitch black. Over water there is nothing to cause this reflection.) The light coming from the different ends of the sun still won't light up the center of the shade {I think-- sunshade= 1/35 the diameter of the moon; lunar eclipse= pretty big}
I do wonder how much the water will actually cool because of this, and whether the ocean currents will defeat it's usefulness. Any oceanographers?
Still [+] for the idea.
brodie, Jan 03 2005
  

       Since a hurricane needs water vapor, maybe a harmless chemical could be dumped over the surface ahead of the storm to gel the surface and hinder evaporation.
FarmerJohn, Jan 03 2005
  

       Brylcreem?
bristolz, Jan 03 2005
  

       [+] excellent idea. We may also find it useful to counteract global warming.   

       The effect on life would be similar to cloudy days.   

       As far as the orbit, it should orbit the sun instead of the earth, since it would have a larger effect for a given launch mass if it was closer to the sun. (It could be smaller and easier to manoeuvre.) Naturally, the solar panels it needs for power would be part of the shade.   

       Also, it won't be total darkness, but just less intense solar energy. You do get diffraction & reflection of light from the atmosphere, from the clouds around, and from the water that is not directly shaded. Also, the shade doesn't have to be 100% opaque, but could have some open area (perforations or tacould be translucent/perforated/some open area, or just not totally opaque.
sophocles, Jan 03 2005
  

       [+] from me, if it would work :-)
Basepair, Jan 03 2005
  

       Make it less than 100% opaque and you could sell ad space, projected on the ground. "This tornado removed by Hoover"
Worldgineer, Jan 03 2005
  

       Also, a modified version of this (highly mobile) could tie to GPS coordinates of a person's cell-phone and always cast a shadow over them. Useful for gloomy types or vampires.   

       Seriously, though, the original idea does have merit.
sophocles, Jan 05 2005
  

       There would be a precise pattern cut out of this shield template. This would set up intricate eddy current winds that would counteract the hurricane effect. As I have made hurricane candles in the past, I consider myself an expert on the subject.
mensmaximus, Jan 05 2005
  

       (linky) the University of Arizona is getting an award for this idea.
sophocles, Nov 07 2006
  
      
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