Saturday September 23, 2017

Can we blast the eye of a hurricane to break it up? Quirks question

Hurricane Maria on Sept. 20

Hurricane Maria on Sept. 20 (NASA)

Listen 2:19

Gloria le Gal from Port McNeill, BC, asks "Have scientists considered a way to blast the eye of storms in order to break them up?"

With the answer is Dr. Yongsheng Chen, an Associate Professor in the Department of Earth and Space Science and Engineering at York University in Toronto. Dr. Chen suggests that it could be dangerous to try to change the energy, velocity, or direction of a hurricane because you may actually make it worse.  

There are a few theories out there that it may be possible, but none have been tried.  One involves blasting the eye of a hurricane with a laser from a satellite in order to change the temperature of the storm.  Another involves pumping cold water to the surface of the ocean to displace the warm water that the hurricane uses for energy.