Gates’ idea for hurricane control

Heard in the news recently… Bill Gates is involved in a project to control hurricane intensities by altering sea surface temperatures.   The linchpin of the idea is to mechanically force an upwelling of cold, deep ocean water in the paths of hurricanes, thereby cooling the surface water temperatures.  Since hurricanes thrive on warm ocean water, this would theoretically cut their growth.

This falls into the category of  geoengineering, a growing industry that seeks ways to control or modify elements of nature, in this case the weather and oceans, for possible benefits.  At a glance it sounds promising. 

Problem is, if you intentionally alter weather in one area, what adverse affects might that induce over other regions in the future.  This raises serious questions that scientists have struggled with in the past, and will continue to debate in the future.

Regarding hurricanes, they are one of Mother Nature’s most important mechanisms for hemispheric moisture/heat transport, and play a vital role in our global weather.  Trying to change the dynamics of these gigantic storms could have unintended longer-term consequences.

Posted by Jim Duncan

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8 Responses to Gates’ idea for hurricane control

  1. Andy Mck says:

    I can certainly understand why somebody would want to control hurricanes…but controlling ocean temperatures on that scale crosses alot of lines. Why not just help from the ground?
    If you must interfere with climate, why not make Zimbabwe or Chad agricultural giants?
    I have a deal for Mr. Gates: If he can create a bug-free operating system for a computer, he can have the weather.

  2. amet says:

    How about a bunker buster bomb hanging from a parachute dropped in the right location ?

  3. SandyG says:

    I remember a cloud seeding experiment back in the 1960s or 70s that attempted to lessen the impact of hurricanes. That wasn’t very successful. Or should I say, they couldn’t tell if it was successful or not because they had no way of knowing what the hurricanes would have done if they were not seeded. Concern was also expressed about the possible effects of causing serious changes to the weather patterns. That, combined with budget problems, called a halt to the program.

    Is there now a way to determine if such a plan as Gates proposes is actually successful or would it be just another experiment that goes nowhere? (I guess something is learned from all experiments. Hopefully, it won’t be a lesson that comes back to bite us.)

    • nbc12weather says:

      I have my doubts that this will ever get beyond the development stage, even with Bill Gates’ huge pool of resources supporting it. Tinkering with nature in this way, even though it could theoretically provide some sort of benefit, is sure to inflame tremendous controversy.
      Jim D.

  4. SCS says:

    We wouldn’t get to hear our weather radios go on ALARM either!

  5. Brian says:

    Don’t worry, if this idea is anything like Vista it won’t work

  6. This could put a lot of Florida hardware stores out of business…not to mention the ripple effect on the plywood and gas-powered generator industries.

  7. Matt Denardo says:

    Might as well attempt to control hurricane intensities. The gobbernment is already involved in spraying chemical trails from aircraft and creating Nuclear clouds over top of our heads which can produce allergens and diseases in humans. And what with all the Space shuttles sent out of the atmosphere emitting rocket fuel and what have you, that can’t be good for the atmosphere

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