Thursday, March 11, 2010

Absurdly Simple Ocean Pumps Could Thwart Hurricanes [Science]


In yet more research funded by Bill and Melinda Gates (and Intellectual Ventures), Stanford University's Ken Caldeira explores a mechanically simple ocean pump that could significantly diminish the power of a hurricane.

Note: This post is an update to the patent spotted a while back.

The basic science behind the pump is this: The hotter the ocean's surface, the more devastating a hurricane can become. So the pump is essentially just a floating ring dangling a very large plastic tube penetrating the ocean. Hot waves flow over the ring, sink down the tube and float back to the surface after mixing with the cool water below. The result? A slightly cooler ocean surface temperature that could vastly reduce a hurricane's eventual destruction.

I'm going to ignore the potential impact to marine life for a moment and instead choose to sit in awe at the possibility of mankind hacking one of weather's most ferocious attacks. [smartplanet]

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