Anti-Hurricane Barges

Back in 2005, MIT researcher Moshe Alamaro came up with an oddball idea to fight hurricanes: use barges equipped with upward-pointing jet engines to create tropical storms in their path. Details from The Salina Journal (July 2, 2005):

Alamaro, in cooperation with German and Russian colleagues, presented his latest idea at a weather conference in Washington earlier this year. The idea is to tow barges equipped with about 20 jet engines into a hurricane's projected path, ignite the engines with the jet pointed skyward and create updrafts and plumes that would suck up some of the heat from the ocean.

After operating for about half a day, the updraft would create a tropical storm of its own. This would cool the water through which the advancing hurricane would move and so rob a potentially deadly storm of some strength. Alamaro said there's more than an ample supply of unused jet engines on the mothballed fleets of Cold War bombers now rusting in desert junkyards in Arizona and Nevada.

Alamaro said a 10 percent reduction in a hurricane's wind speed would result in a 50 percent reduction in its power when the storm hits landfall. If it works the way Alamaro and his colleagues suggest, residents of the Atlantic and Caribbean shores might one day experience more tropical storms, but not so many hurricanes.

"What we want to do is create several tropical storms to replace the hurricane. It would not stop it completely," he said.

Maybe this would work. Or maybe the artificial tropical storms would themselves turn into hurricanes? Since Alamaro estimated it would cost around $1 billion a year to do this, it's unlikely his idea will be tested any time soon.

More info: The Economist - June 11, 2005

     Posted By: Alex - Sat Oct 01, 2022
     Category: Weather

Can you imagine the lawsuits? Even a small storm creates all sorts of damage over a wide area. Lawyers would be queueing around the block for a chance to file a class action suit. It'd be 1972 Rapid City all over again.
Posted by Phideaux on 10/01/22 at 10:44 AM
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