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Hurricane Diverter

Can't beat em? Trick em.
  [vote for,

I was pondering the "sheer size of the forces at work in a tropical system" [waugs] and trying to devise a way to minimize the damage they cause. The man made archipelago linked here would slow it, but this sort of head on assault would be prohibitively expensive - and even then possibly ineffective.

Storms are just too powerful to stop cold. But could they be diverted? A hurricane which makes landfall far from populated area does comparatively little damage. What is needed is not huge explosions or giant new landmasses, but a way to shift oncoming hurricanes away from big cities.

[World] points out that changing the heat of the substrate (ocean) is the only way to affect a hurricane. We don't have any way to rapidly cool large areas. But we do have devices (yep, nukes!) capable of putting out a lot of heat. Heating the ocean under a hurricane will be like applying more power to one wheel on a car - the wheel moves faster and the car turns away from that direction.

I propose that small islands be constructed in the ocean offshore from large cities. Extending out from the islands would be nets of small nuclear devices. These do not explode, but rather generate heat over the course of a day. As the hurricane nears, the additional heat will deflect it away from the city and toward trailer parks on the outskirts.

bungston, Sep 18 2003

Man Made Archipelago http://www.halfbake...antic_20Archipelago
Inspiration! [bungston, Oct 04 2004, last modified Oct 05 2004]

NOAA: "Why don't we try to destroy tropical cyclones by nuking them?" http://www.aoml.noa.../hrd/tcfaq/C5c.html
"During each hurricane season, there always appear suggestions that one should simply use nuclear weapons to try and destroy the storms..." [bristolz, Oct 04 2004, last modified Oct 06 2004]

Don't worry, be happy http://www.chernoby...eesAlteringGenesDoc
[kbecker, Oct 04 2004, last modified Oct 06 2004]


       I think it was [waugs] that said the ocean cooling bit. I think even nukes won't produce as much heat as you'd need to move a hurricane. One possibility would be to use one of the proposed greenhouse-effect solutions: drop iron into the water. There's an idea out there to add nutrients such as iron to the oceans to produce alge blooms on a massive scale. They would convert CO2 to oxygen, and reduce the greenhouse effect. A side-effect would be the warming of the ocean near them, since the alge would be darker than the ocean and absorb solar energy.   

       Perhaps a warming the ocean on the opposite side of a hurricane could warm the air above, making it rise and creating negative pressure to suck the hurricane towards it.
Worldgineer, Sep 18 2003

       If you have trailer parks on the outskirts, you are doomed to begin with, as trailers (and all types of mobile homes) are well known to attract weather phenomna (hurricanes, tornados...). You just need high densities of trailer parks far away from population centers.   

       Oh yeah, dead fish for any suggestion of more nuclear fission-related anything.
oxen crossing, Sep 18 2003

       Nope. Won't work.   

       sp: hurricane
waugsqueke, Sep 18 2003

       Don't go messin' with my oceans, man.
RayfordSteele, Sep 18 2003

       Hurricanes are stabilized by the Corriolis force that is caused by rotation of the earth. If you stop rotation they fall apart. That will be easier than building all the islands (which only a few rich nations can afford) and it will catch all hurricanes, tornados, cyclones all over the word. Imagine World Peace, at least with respect to air.   

       The nuclear devices will come in handy to stop rotation and restart it afterwards. Build a real big cannon. Put the nuclear device at the bottom of the barrel and stuff lots of trash on top. When fired the recoil will stop rotation (its that big) and the trash will go to a very high earth orbit. You get rid of the nuclear threat, you get rid of the trash, and you get rid of the hurricane. Three birds with one stone!
kbecker, Sep 18 2003

       Man, just mention using nukes around here and everyone jumps on you.
kevindimie, Sep 19 2003

       [kev] Nobody jumps on you, they stumble over you while trying to escape the fallout. You just have to explain to them that mother nature actually has defense mechanisms against elevated radiation levels (link). That will stop the stampede immediately.
kbecker, Sep 19 2003

       That is seemingly a great idea, but hurricanes get their energy from heat, so yes, you would divert the hurricane, but wherever it ended up, it would be significantly more powerful than it would have been normally...
Hariel, Sep 19 2003

       All future potential anno-taters of this discussion, you should really read [bristolz] link before posting. Sort of puts it to bed, along with the goodnight kiss and switching off the lights. Almost calls forth an MFD for being widely known to be unbakable, but I haven't seen anyone MFD like that, so I'll leave that for others to consider.
oxen crossing, Sep 20 2003

       In defense of bungston, I would point out that his intention is to use the nuclear devices in a way that differs from the manner described at the NHC FAQ. However, his way won't work either.   

       // so yes, you would divert the hurricane, //   

       No, you would not affect it at all.
waugsqueke, Sep 20 2003

       Right, but their description of how much heat a hurricane is losing every hour suggests that the amount of heat needed to divert it is really not attainable on this planet.
oxen crossing, Sep 20 2003


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