Can we stop storms?

One of my colleagues from work and a fellow University of Virginia Physics department graduate pointed me to this pretty amusing (at least I think it is) Popular Science article regarding how we might be able to stop storms in the future. Essentially scientists are looking into this to be the heros — “We can save you billions of dollars if you just let us work on our mad scientist ploys” 🙂
Actually it’s even more interesting to read about a company, Dyn-O-Mat, which is known for developing and producing environmental absorbent mats, rolls, pads and spill kits for hazardous and non-hazardous liquids (thanks Google). Essentially they are looking to dump a powder that will cling to water to suck the power out of it, creating a large gel substance – “Dyn-O-Gel”. After reading this, I tend to think of us creating something like an ocean of Jello.
I digress, I do find it quite interesting to see science applied like this, especially since the solution has two phases, the first causing the powder to bond with the warm water that provides the energy for the storm; the second phase being that which forms the gel, supercooling the water and thereby not allowing the storm to gain strength. I am curious though if there is such a thing as a backdraft effect for water, where it reaches a low temperature (not quite a Bose Einstein condensate though ;-)) and then suddenly springs back to life once sunlight is reintroduced.

[Listening to: Macrotus – Hans Zimmer & James Newton Howard – Batman Begins (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack) (7:35)]
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3 thoughts on “Can we stop storms?

  1. Derek, I agree with you whole heartedly. I can’t say that the gel would be that friendly to the environment or the creatures of the sea.

    The only thing that I can see as being somewhat of a good thing would be to have something that might help to stimulate growth in the coral reefs… of course I guess that would mean that they would have to have three different gels, gel of the Atlantic, gel of Gulf, and creme dela gel ode Pacific.

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