Study finds artificial ocean cooling to weaken hurricanes is useless

Study finds artificial ocean cooling to weaken hurricanes is useless

A satellite image from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration captures the active hurricane season that included Hurricanes Katia and Irma and Tropical Storm Jose (left to right) on September 8, 2017. Credit: NOAA

A new study finds that even if we had the infinite capacity to artificially cool the oceans enough to weaken a hurricane, the benefits would be negligible. The study, led by scientists at the University of Miami (UM) Rosenstiel’s School of Marine, Atmospheric and Earth Sciences shows that the energy alone needed to use intervention technology to weaken a hurricane before land makes it a very ineffective solution to disaster mitigation.

“The main finding of our study is that massive amounts of industrially cooled water would be required only for a modest impairment of Hurricane intensity The study’s lead author, James Helliwick, a graduate of UM Rosenstiel School, said. “Plus, weakening density by marginal amounts does not necessarily mean that the potential for internal damage and safety risks will also decrease. While any amount of weakening before land is a good thing, for these reasons it makes sense to direct the focus toward adaptation strategies such as strengthening the structure infrastructure, improving the efficiency of evacuation procedures, and developing the science regarding the detection and prediction of impending storms.”

scientifically Answer questions On the effectiveness of artificial ocean cooling to weaken hurricanes, the authors used a combination of air-sea interaction theories and a highly sophisticated computer model of the atmosphere.

in their own computer simulationThey cooled ocean regions up to 260,000 km2 In volume – larger than Oregon and equal to 21,000 cubic kilometers of water – by two degrees Celsius. Even with the largest area of ​​cooling, simulated tornadoes weakened by only 15 percent. The amount of energy extracted from the ocean to achieve this small reduction is equivalent to more than 100 times the amount consumed across the United States in 2019 alone.

“You might think that the main finding of our article, that it is futile to try to weaken hurricanes, should be obvious,” said David Nolan, professor of atmospheric sciences at UM Rosenstiel and senior author of the study. “However, there are different ideas for tornado The edit often appears in the . format popular media It is even filed for patents every few years. We are pleased to be able to put something in the peer-reviewed literature that really addresses this matter.”

The study, titled “Targeted ocean cooling to weaken tropical cyclones, would be futile,” was published in the journal. Nature Communications Earth and Environment.


NOAA Hurricane Forecast in 2022: Likelihood of up to 21 named storms; Can form up to 10 tornadoes


more information:
James Hlywiak et al, Targeted artificial ocean cooling to weaken tropical cyclones would be futile, Earth and Environment Communications (2022). DOI: 10.1038 / s43247-022-00519-1

Introduction of
University of Miami


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