Sunday, October 21, 2007

Scientists a step closer to steering hurricanes

Steering hurricane from one city to another city, or to a neighboring nation is getting more promising in computer simulations, even a small scale weather system will be employed for further experiment. The moral and ethical questions remain though: "If a hurricane were coming towards Miami with the potential to cause damage and kill people, and we diverted it, another town or village hit by it would sue us. They'll say the hurricane is no longer an act of God, but that we caused it."

Here is a brief description of how hurricane forms:
Hurricanes form when air warmed over the ocean rises to meet the cool upper atmosphere. The heat turns to kinetic energy, producing a spiral of wind and rain. The greater the temperature differences between top and bottom, and the narrower the eye of the hurricane, the faster it blows.
One solution for steering hurricane would use aircraft to drop "soot into the near-freezing cloud at the top of a hurricane, causing it to warm up and so reduce wind speeds. Computer simulations of the forces at work in the most violent storms have shown that even small changes can affect their paths – enabling them to be diverted from major cities."

Another solution by scientists at Hebrew University of Jerusalem
"had simulated the effect of sowing clouds with microscopic dust to cool the hurricane's base, also weakening it. The dust would attract water but would form droplets too small to fall as rain. Instead, they would rise and evaporate, cooling hot air at the hurricane base. In findings presented at a conference in Trieste, Italy, the team led by Daniel Rosenfeld demonstrated that dust dropped into the lower part of Hurricane Katrina would have reduced wind speeds and diverted its course."

The potential from these research could led to more beneficial applications, perhaps, rather than steering to a neighboring cities or town or to another nation, may be a weakened storm could be pushed back toward ocean while gradually lessening its strength, thus reducing its damaging impacts on humanity.

Controlling storms, hurricanes and other natural phenomenon should be closely monitored by neutral international agencies like United Nations, so that only the universal benevolences could be derived from these exciting progresses in science, not to be used for any kind of warfare.

Link:
Scientists a step closer to steering hurricanes

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