Could scientists de-intensify storms?
News 10 Now | September 23, 2005
By Joleene Des Rosiers
Project Storm Fury was a futile attempt in the 1960's to stop hurricanes. The idea was reborn last year after four hurricanes rocked the Florida coast. Now with the aftermath of Katrina and the onset of Rita, scientists are even more in tune with such a possibility.
"If there was someway we could de-intensify these storms, we could reduce the risk in terms of death, we could reduce the amount of damage that would be done by hurricanes. So the idea was being driven by economics, and also by saving lives," said Climatologist, Mark Wysocki.
But Mark Wysocki feels scientists looking to stifle the storm will only cause more devastation worldwide.
"They don't think forward. They're thinking short term. Yes, I sympathize with what the people are going through. But to spend all this money and to possibly change the energy budget of the earth just to stop what's happening in the Gulf, not knowing or realizing how you're going to redistribute it around the world. I think is a foolish attempt," said Wysocki.
Scientific American Magazine outlines three different ways to kill a hurricane: As they did 40 years ago, pilots would fly above the storm, seeding it with silver iodide to 'freeze' the rain. Or the second, scientists would top the bodies of water where the storm is expected with a bio-degradable oil. This would keep the water from absorbing into the hurricane, and again keep the rain from accumulating inside the eye of the storm. The third way is an idea that is still on the drawing board and it involves sending satellites into space.
The satellites would capture the energy of the sun to 'cook' the top of the hurricane, thus stabilizing it so the hurricane would collapse.
Now while the idea of stopping a hurricane before major devastation occurs seems like a good one, Wysocki says we have to look further than the surface. Plain and simple, he says...leave mother nature alone.
“Live with it. Just learn to live with it. And we could do that. We can do that by how we live along the coastal regions. How we build our cities. How we build in levees and control of canals and so fourth,” said Wysocki.
Wysocki feels money spent on these types of 'temporary' remedies should be shifted...and put toward safe house structures and evacuation processes.