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Controlling the Weather

  1. Mar 4, 2005 #1
    I am writing a pro/con essay about controlling the weather in my 10th grade ELA II class. Anyone know anything about this, or where I can find some info on it?
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 6, 2005 #2


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    Where have you looked already? :uhh:

    On the web try using several search engines with key words like (controlling weather) Also check your school and public library, ask the librarian the same question you posed here.

    Here are a couple webrefs you may find useful:

    A Historical Perspective:
    "The idea of controlling the weather goes back to the 1920s when the space pioneer Hermann Oberth came up with a scheme for placing giant mirrors measuring 100 miles in diameter in Earth orbit to reflect the Sun's rays back on the planet.
    see ---> http://davidszondy.com/future/Living/weather.htm [Broken]

    A CNN report: A team of microbiologists from the University of East London (UEL) are examining if the microbes play an active role in the formation of clouds and making it rain.
    see ---> http://archives.cnn.com/2002/WEATHER/05/27/bugs.weather/

    "What if a satellite could shift the path of an approaching hurricane? What if a plane could divert a tornado? The ability of humans to influence weather has never been tested in such dramatic ways. But theoretically, some scientists say, these scenarios are completely possible."
    see ---> http://www.disasterrelief.org/Disasters/020228influence/
    Last edited by a moderator: May 1, 2017
  4. Mar 13, 2005 #3
    A major political problem with controlling weather would be the fact that people have different desires about the weather. Farmers may want rain at times that urban residents don't.

    You might want to check on the cloud seeding program in western Kansas during the last decade or so. Western Kansas Weather Modification Program.

    The "Seeds of Tornado Prevention", July 2004, summarizes a three-year
    study of tornado formation inside supercell thunderstorms and provides
    cloud seeding as a method to prevent its occurrence.

    The authors of the report are J. Gregory Glenn, a scientist at Eglin Air
    Force Base, Fla., and Ronald Armstrong, a scientific consultant in Ocean
    City, Md.
  5. Mar 14, 2005 #4
    OK, thanks for the help guys, I'll look into these sites.

    I had been to the disasterrelief one already, found that on google :)
  6. Mar 14, 2005 #5
    I'm going to quote Michio Kaku from his book Hyperspace about controlling the weather.

    Cool, huh?
  7. Mar 14, 2005 #6

    Ivan Seeking

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    There is one approach mentioned recently on the Science Channel, I think, where a biodegradable oil is dispersed over the ocean ahead of an approaching hurricane. Apparently this oil can reduce evaporation enough to interfere with the dynamic processes that sustain the storm. If this works as predicted, in effect it would either produce the same effect as the hurricane hitting land by weakening and breaking up the storm, or it would steer it to a different course. There may be information available about this on the net. If I spot something I will post it.
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2005
  8. Mar 15, 2005 #7


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    I thought that studies of Chaos have shown that while we can change the weather, there is no way of knowing what we are changing it to.
  9. Mar 15, 2005 #8

    Ivan Seeking

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    Interesting. I wonder if this applies to organized systems like hurricanes and tornados. From what little I have heard about this, these systems are a bit of a fluke in that they are so highly organized. Perhaps the second law helps here? Also, if a hurricane is reduced to a tropical storm, the energy transfer is still there but in a more disorganized form. Hmmm. Do we have any meteorologists here?
  10. Mar 15, 2005 #9


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    I've touchhed on the subject brifly in the past. Weather alteration is tricky in terms of politics and law on large and small scale. I was told there have been instances in which storm clouds have been seeded by a farmer to make them produce smaller, less damaging hailstones in the hopes of preventing damage to crops. The cloud then unleashed a hailstorm upon the next farm along, causing crop damage, and the owner of the farm was able to take legal action against the other farmer, claiming it was due to his actions that the storm damaged his crops.
    I believe that there was tension between the USA and neighbouring countries while project stormfury was taking place (cloud seeding in hurricanes in an attempt to disperse the energy). Other countries worried that either acidentally or purposefully, the seeding may divert the storms away from the USA and towards other areas. It was also controversial whether or not the seeding worked. In most storms, a rise in pressure, dilation of the eye and decrease in wind was noted, however this was often followed by a second peak in windspeed that may have been bigger than what was expected to result from the storm had it not been seeded.
  11. Mar 15, 2005 #10


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    The problem is in the sensitivity to inital conditions. While you can make changes which are somewhat predictable in the short term you can have no idea of the effects in even the slightly longer term. This seems like a very dangerous game to play. It may well be that some theoritacal class I civilization can control the weather, but we are not there yet. Sometimes rushing ahead with partial information is worse then being patient and waiting until the song is finished. If my understanding of Chaos is correct, weather prediction, may always remain an art, and weather control science fiction. Like interstellar travel it seems the universe is conspiring against us.
  12. Mar 16, 2005 #11
    I've heard that before. I believe there is some concern about limiting hurricanes because they release substantial amounts of heat from the oceans. There may also be theory that hurricanes may be essential to break up dry periods in the SE U.S., but I haven't seen anything specific.
  13. Mar 16, 2005 #12
    Hurricanes that go through the Gulf of Mexico into the south part of the US do recharge that area's ground water. Texas is the state that needs it the most.
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