Throw some cold water at it

Leave it to a couple of Jersey guys to try and take the wind out of a hurricane’s sails. It’s a noble idea, no doubt about that, but it may be just a bit impractical. The concept involves cooling the water along our eastern seaboard whenever a hurricane would approach. Professor Alan Blumberg of the Stevens Institute of Technology, and Professor George Mellor of Princeton, think they have hit on the solution. Pumps, lots and lots of water pumps, 1.6 million of them, to be precise.

It’s been know for decades now that a hurricane weakens as it passes over cold water, and that’s where the pumps come into play. Deep water is always cooler than that closer to the surface, so the obvious answer is to bring that water to the top. The project these fellows have in mind is to stretch those million plus pumps in a line about 200 miles off our coast. Hook up a long tube to each of those pumps, 400 feet long has been calculated as adequate, and let ’em start churning away.

In theory, this would work, but, let’s be realistic here. An array like that would cover an area twice the size of New Jersey [do the math], and transporting them into place would be a monumental task. Just storing that much equipment, if you figure each floating platform to be only 4 feet by 12 feet [and they’d probably be bigger], would require 2700 acres of space. On top of that, a million and a half tubes, each 400 feet long, curled or piled I don’t know how high. I guess we could find a spot somewhere in the Pine Barrens, but then you’d run into the environmental paradox. Do you save the coast, or save the trees? That would be the billion dollar question. That’s also how much the boys would want to put their project in place, $1 billion smackeroonies. With that kind of money floating around, I’d have to make an offer of my own. I’d be willing to send the Profs my own feasability study [this article] for say… a couple hundred grand.

On the other hand, it has been recently noted that desert storms in the Sahara also have an effect on a hurricane’s strength. It seems the dust from these immense sand storms blocks some of the sunlight off the African coast, and that too has a cooling effect on the ocean’s surface, thereby depriving a hurricane of its lifeblood, warm water. So maybe instead of all those pumps along our coast, how about some big fans in the Sahara? If the sand does as good a job as other scientists seem to think, that would protect the entire eastern hemisphere, instead of just the eastern US. Don’t ya think? Huh? Don’t ya?

Reference: Courier Post

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Reprinted from Exit 4

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