[ExI] Hurricane Sandy
atymes at gmail.com
Tue Oct 30 19:28:34 UTC 2012
You mean like solar-powered orbital lasers to heat the
ocean (or at least the cloud cover) to influence the
storm's path? Though you'd need to pump a lot of
energy in to have any significant effect. A fully
developed hurricane gives off around 50 terawatts of
heat energy; the record-highest laser outputs are about
10 times that, and tropical depressions may be 5
(Nuking hurricanes has likewise been suggested. Aside
from the problem of creating radioactive hurricanes,
h-bombs - as energetic as they are - are simply way too
tiny. It'd be like trying to stop a van with an average
Speaking of energy, another idea is to deploy a large
number of Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion systems
near areas of tropical depression formation. These
systems exploit the difference between warm surface
water and cold deep water to run a heat engine. They're
not very efficient - very much an early-stage technology
for energy production - but they could perhaps be
optimized to quickly cool the surface of some large
expanse of water, generating a bit of electricity as a
byproduct. Unfortunately, this would easily be a
multi-billion dollar project: impossible to get funded
without decades of work and government involvement.
Deploying a large floating wind farm to eat up forming
depressions is another idea, but runs into the same
financial issue - though wind might cost less, and wind
power is more developed. This might be more feasible.
It would likely be operated by the US Navy - which
service has proven amenable to ideas like this in recent
On Tue, Oct 30, 2012 at 11:21 AM, Mike Dougherty <msd001 at gmail.com> wrote:
> On the other side of Hurricane Sandy aka Frankenstorm, I've been
> wondering why we still don't have better countermeasures for
> mitigating the damages of these so-called superstorms. Did anyone
> notice the anomalous path Sandy took, heading almost due West into
> NJ/NY (and through PA, affecting Great Lakes areas)?
> I wish they had covered more explanation for how that happened. I did
> hear one meteorologist refer to it as "unprecedented."
> Given the $billion+ expected damage toll, it seems to me there would
> be incentive to try preventing this kind of destruction.
> We sometimes discuss mega-engineering; I'm curious if anyone on this
> list has any wild* ideas for ways to have either diverted or disrupted
> Hurricane Sandy before landfall.
> * simple ideas would be welcomed too, though the wild ones are
> generally more fun.
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