We usually accept it as a given that we can’t change the weather. When it comes to extreme situations like hurricanes or earthquakes, such disasters are labeled “acts of god” because we generally feel helpless to in the face of nature’s wrath. But recently an ambitious Japanese manufacturing firm Ise Kogyo has boldly claimed that they can help weaken the impact of typhoons. And even more surprising, the company’s weapon of choice is the submarine.
In principle, the premise appears sound. Typhoons generally require warmer water temperatures at surface level before they become dangerous, typically around 25 degrees. So when typhoons develop, the theory is that a fleet of submarines equipped with 20m-long water pumps can deliver colder water to the surface, thus bringing the surface temperature down by two or three degrees and weakening the storm.
According to the company, 20 submarines could cover an area of about 57,000 square meters and they would be deployed into a typhoons path once initial signs of an oncoming typhoon are evident.
This solution has been proposed as far back as 2002, but we have yet to see it practically implemented to date. First of all, submarines are hardly a dime a dozen and to set 20 of them aside for typhoon prevention would be no easy task.
More practical proposals involving the use of surface vessels to bring up cool water have been put forth before as well, though they are admittedly far less awesome than the submarine idea. But re-purposing military ships that patrol key areas might be the only way to bring such a “pipe dream” to fruition.
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