This Is How Science Will Save Us From Hurricanes
“Given that 2017 saw more than $250B worth of damage caused by hurricanes to North America alone, even a large investment in setting up and deploying a large-scale network of these deep water perforated pipes could quickly pay dividends in damage and death reduction. The economic return-on-investment could be tremendous, and it would protect our infrastructure and prevent another Katrina-like disaster more effectively and inexpensively than any other plan. But if we want it to happen, we need to put our money where our mouth is and live up to the advice of America’s eldest founding father: an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”
There are only a few ingredients required to form a hurricane: rapidly moving air over a warm body of water, with atmospheric conditions that have a pressure gradient in them. Humans may not be able to control the spinning of the Earth or the atmosphere itself, but through a very clever technique that was first pioneered to keep fjords ice-free in the winter, we just might be able to lower the surface temperatures of the oceans in hurricane-prone regions. By installing a perforated pipe a hundred meters down or so and pumping compressed air through it, we could circulate the cooler, deeper ocean waters towards the surface, lowering the temperatures at the ocean/air boundary down below the critical threshold that enables hurricanes to form and grow. It’s a simple, straightforward solution that would be an incredible use of an accidental infrastructure that permeates the Gulf of Mexico already: a network of more than 4,000 deep water oil platforms.