HOW HARD COULD IT BE?
Other ideas to stop natural disasters have had mixed results
Between Betwe 1962 and 1983, US scientists tried to weaken wea hurricanes by seeding them from aircraft air using silver iodide. The chemical was w supposed to freeze supercooled water w in the hurricane, thereby disrupting its structure. Nice idea, but unfortunately there the was not enough supercooled water for tthe silver iodide to act upon, so the project projec was a failure.
NUKE A HURRICANE RICANE
There is always someone out therere for whom a nuclear blast is the solution,, in this case for stopping a hurricane in its ts tracks. The problem is that the energy y locked up in a hurricane dwarfs that at of even the biggest nuclear bomb. In n fact, an established hurricane releases es as much heat energy every 20 minutes tes as a 10-megatonne nuclear device. evice.
BOMB A VOLCANO
Before Befor his exploits in WWII, US General George Geo Patton fought a battle with the lava lav flowing from Hawaii’s Kilauea volcano, vo which threatened the town of Hilo Hi in 1935. The plan was to disrupt the lava lav channels and tubes that carried fresh fre lava to the flow front. Unfortunately, Unfo the bomb craters just filled up withwit lava. Hilo was saved, but only because the eruption had coincidentally stopped.
STOP A TSUNAMI IN ITS TRACKS CKS
Mathematician Dr Usama Kadri thinks ks that tsunamis could be weakened with h deep-ocean acoustic waves. These e naturally occurring waves travel at the e speed of sound – if they could be e focused on a tsunami, they could d reduce its height. But translating it into nto practice would likely prove impossible. sible.
JUST ADDAD WATER
During Durin 1973’s eruption of the Eldfell volcano on tthe Icelandic island of Heimaey, a lava flow flo that was threatening to destroy the harbour ha was kept at bay for five months by spraying it with water, causing the flow front fro to solidify. Luckily, the lava was slowmoving mov and there was unlimited water. If the eruption hadn’t stopped, the harbour would eventually have been overwhelmed.