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Flurricane

Block sunlight with a satellite shield directly over hurricane.
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In order to remove some of the heat energy that sustains hurricanes a far space satellite with a large fabric shield is maneuvered into position between the hurricane and the sun.
The cooling of the water should reduce the wind speed of the hurricane and hopefully cause it to break up.
(idea was changed after considering [hidden]'s truth)
Zimmy, Jul 09 2005

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       Easy to drive or not, I suspect you'd lose a lot of blimps that way.
hidden truths, Jul 09 2005
  

       [hidden truths] you're right. The original idea as you commented on it used a fleet of high altitude blimps to try to block sunlight. I did not realize that even at 20,000 feet (the probable ceiling for blimps), Hurricane atmospheric effects can still be quite strong.
I also underestimated the size of the storms.
Zimmy, Jul 09 2005
  

       Underestimating storms is a lot less dangerous when talking about them theoretically.
Feel free to delete my annotations if you so wish.
hidden truths, Jul 09 2005
  

       It seems to me that the energy of a hurricane is not from sunlight on the storm, but from sunlight on the water around the storm. Inside a hurricane can be almost as dark as night, and it certainly won't slow up at night. The water vapor going into a hurricane and condensing is what powers it--that vapor was generated by sunlight a few days earlier, and won't be affected by an artificial shadow.   

       As I think about it, I start to think that a shadow would make the hurricane stronger. Something about heat differentials and coolness. I know that tornados depend on cooler air over warmer vapor. It may be that a hurricane works by creating a large shadowed area that cools down and attracts vapor. Hmm--I'm going to have to think about this.
baconbrain, Jul 09 2005
  

       Pehaps the water just on the leading edge should be shadowed as to cool it.
Zimmy, Jul 09 2005
  

       Wouldn't it be cheaper to use forward planning and a butterfly net?
Basepair, Jul 09 2005
  

       Won't work, for reasons stated in baconbrain's first paragraph. Won't put a dent in an existing storm. They feed off the water below them, which you cannot impact with your device.   

       You might have a very limited chance of preventing storm formation with this concept. But when you're talking about sea surface temperatures in excess of 30°C, the amount you can bring that down would be minimal and probably wouldn't be a factor. Even if you dropped if 3 or 4°, storms will still form over those waters.   

       baconbrain, your second paragraph is a sort-of right. There needs to be enough cool air above the warm sea surface so that the convection will be unstable and generate thunderstorm activity. Takes more than that, of course, but you are on track with the cool thing.
waugsqueke, Jul 09 2005
  

       Not the fogging Amazons again!   

       How about attaching very large solar-powered electric motors to icebergs and speeding them south to cool the waters?
Canuck, Jul 10 2005
  

       Just train the penguins to nudge them south.
daseva, Jul 10 2005
  

       Penguins? Going South? Where exactly are you wanting these icebergs?
baconbrain, Jul 10 2005
  

       The Penguins will first have to be imported north to the other pole for that to work. Why not train the penguins to push them north, have the polar bears push them south, and get quite a lot of whales to work them towards the middle?   

       However, I suspect that a large shield to block sunlight from the forward edge of the storm would be much more cost effective than any iceburg moving process.   

       Go ahead and look into the surface area of a hurricane, and the average size of an iceburg. Now consider shipping times and costs, which will likely be more efficient than any trained animal programs. Getting these figures into practicable numbers before the storm hits would make launching a pop-up piece of mylar in the right direction look like child's play.
ye_river_xiv, Nov 14 2007
  
      
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