The Norwegians want to curb hurricanes
The Norwegian company OceanTherm has developed an ambitious plan to contain one of the most destructive forces of nature – hurricanes. This can be done thanks to the so-called bubble curtain.
Representatives of OceanTherm hope that by placing air pockets deep under the waves, they will be able to reduce the temperature of the ocean, thereby depriving the storm of the energy necessary to turn into a hurricane.
According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association (NOAA), hurricanes are formed when warm water evaporates from the ocean surface and meets cool winds. The risk of turning a tropical storm into a full-fledged hurricane is maximum when the surface temperature exceeds 26.5 ° C.
By installing a bubble curtain in strategic regions of the Gulf of Mexico, OceanTherm hopes to keep surface temperatures below this critical point during hurricane season, thereby reducing the risk of disasters. Olav Hollingseter, the company’s CEO, said that the idea first came to him after he witnessed the damage caused by Hurricane Katrina in 2005.
“At a depth of 100 meters, we found that the water is cold enough to reduce the surface temperature to below 26.5 ° C,” said Olav Hollingseter.
Similar technologies have been used for many years to keep the fjords of Norway ice-free in winter. However, OceanTherm states that it now intends to install a bubble curtain to a depth of 200 meters, which will be the deepest application to date.
Creating a bubble curtain will cost quite a lot – about $ 17 million. Given the destruction that hurricanes bring, these investments can pay off.