Could Bill Gates Have Stopped Hurricane Ian? His Patented Machine Aims To Control Storms

Zinger Key Points
  • With the help of environmental modification, Bill Gates and others are attempting to control storms.
  • The two main applications describe floating devices that could weaken hurricanes.
Could Bill Gates Have Stopped Hurricane Ian? His Patented Machine Aims To Control Storms

An application filed with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office on Jan. 3, 2008, presents a number of approaches to regulate and avoid hurricanes.

With the help of environmental modification, Microsoft Corp. MSFT co-founder Bill Gates and 12 other people were attempting to prevent and control hurricanes.

“Great interest has arisen in controlling these powerful storms," the document reads, with the interest alluding to the lives lost and billions in damage caused by hurricanes.

2 Main Applications

The two main applications describe floating devices that, by pulling warm water from the ocean's surface and directing it down to the depths through a long tube, could weaken hurricanes.

First, the ocean's lowest layers would serve as a significant heat sink. This process involves pushing warm ocean surface water downward to depart into the chilly ocean depths in a continual cycle.

Second, in an alternative design to the primary conduit, a secondary conduit might be utilized to transport cold water to the surface, mixing it with surface water to help chill the warm surface water regions.

According to the patent applications, the temperature of ocean water may be quite uniform up to several hundred feet below the surface due to wind and waves, but after that point, the temperature starts to drop quickly.

Low sea surface temperatures, according to NASA, can lead to a hurricane's demise. This was the case in 1998 when Hurricane Danielle, which was closely trailing Hurricane Bonnie, dissipated due to the cold water it left in its wake.

Has This Been Attempted Before?

The National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) actively pursued hurricane modification through Project STORMFURY from the middle of the 1960s to the early 1980s.

It planned to inject clouds with a material having a structure similar to that of ice. They reasoned that they could lessen the storm's strength by dispersing the ice-inducing material throughout the cloud.

But in the end, the endeavor was a failure. Scientists discovered that ice crystals are already present in hurricane systems, so adding more would have little or no impact.

Photo: Courtesy of commons.wikimedia.org

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