Applications: Reduce Hurricane Intensity

The intensity of an individual hurricane, as measured by its maximum surface wind speeds or minimum surface pressure, is affected at any given time by a large and complex array of physical processes governing the interaction of the storm with the underlying ocean and with its atmospheric environment. Few of these processes are well understood. What is known however, that for a given ocean temperature and atmospheric thermodynamic environment, there is an upper bound on the intensity that a storm may achieve, and the interaction of hurricanes with the underlying ocean can cause substantial reduction of the storm's intensity. Hurricanes stir cold water up to the surface, reducing the amount of heat that flows into the storm. The magnitude of the effect depends on the thickness of the warm layer of water at the top of the ocean, on the forward speed of the storm, and on its geometric size. Typical reductions of actual intensity from the potential intensity are on the order of 30%.

Taking this effect one step further, estimates of the relationship between changes in wind speed and changes in sea surface temperature range upward to a 10% decrease in wind speed for each 0.5 degree celsius decrease in surface temperature.
Given adequate lead time and grids of pre-installed Atmocean pumps, we believe it is possible to cool the top 30 meters of a section of ocean by two to three degrees Celsius, enough to significantly reduce the intensity of a hurricane passing across this cold region. Except when a hurricane is approaching, the pumps will be de-activated to minimize adverse consequences on the marine community.

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