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Can Bill Gates Prevent the Next Katrina?

timothy posted about 5 years ago | from the you-can-have-6-billion-guesses dept.


theodp writes "He once controlled the world's PCs. Now Bill Gates has set his sights on controlling the world's weather. And patenting it. On Thursday, the USPTO revealed that Gates and ex-Microsoft CTO Nathan Myhrvold have filed five patent applications that propose using large fleets of vessels to suppress hurricanes through various methods of mixing warm water from the surface of the ocean with colder water at greater depths. The idea is to decrease the surface temperature, reducing or eliminating the heat-driven condensation that fuels the giant storms. Hey, a guy can only play so much golf in retirement."

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Next up! (4, Funny)

AltGrendel (175092) | about 5 years ago | (#28647927)

He'll have an island in the middle of the ocean with a volcano that has a giant face on it that looks like him.

Re:Next up! (4, Funny)

2.7182 (819680) | about 5 years ago | (#28647939)

Actually, I think just about anyone would prefer it to be a skull on a volcano, rather than a face.

Re:Next up! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28648307)

The joke....went clear over your head....

So... (0)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about 5 years ago | (#28647929)

"Where do you want (the wind) to go today?"

Re:So... (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28647937)

I hope it doesn't blue sky on us.

Re:So... (2, Funny)

noundi (1044080) | about 5 years ago | (#28647941)

"Where do you want to blow today?"

Re:So... (1)

CarpetShark (865376) | about 5 years ago | (#28648327)

"What else can I fuck up today?"

Re:So... (5, Funny)

JustOK (667959) | about 5 years ago | (#28648089)

I'd at least wait for the first service pack before I install it on my planet.

Re:So... (5, Funny)

MindKata (957167) | about 5 years ago | (#28648257)

"wait for the first service pack"

Yes but what other "features" would be in that service pack?
(1) Clouds reformatted into Microsoft friendly format to show advertising for new products.
(2) Rains on Google offices 24/7
(3) Strong winds blows everyone toward huge advertising signs they cannot ignore.
(4) DRM infested sunshine we have to buy from Microsoft.
(5) Thunder storms raining chairs on Linux offices.
(6) Snow flakes spy on us all and then tell Microsoft what we like.
(7) Apple offices found 6 weeks later under mountain of huge hail stones.
(8) Profit.

Re:So... (2, Insightful)

Demena (966987) | about 5 years ago | (#28648431)

Yep. Better do just that. We already have enough problems, heating up the bottom of the oceans as well as the top will really screw things up. Stuff up conveyor currents and half the world dies.

Where? Why, that's simple... (1)

denzacar (181829) | about 5 years ago | (#28648229)

Just think of all those tiny windows flags. Fluttering in the wind.

ALWAYS fluttering in the wind.

BSOD (1)

DeafZombie (1144079) | about 5 years ago | (#28648303)

Can't wait to see the Blue Sky Of Death when the system crashes....

How will they know.. (3, Insightful)

Rockoon (1252108) | about 5 years ago | (#28647933)

Lets say they implement this sort of thing..

How will they ever know that they reduced the number of storms?

The number of storms on a yearly basis is anything but consistent.

Re:How will they know.. (1)

noundi (1044080) | about 5 years ago | (#28647963)

Haven't you ever heard the phrase "No news is good news"?

Re:How will they know.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28647967)

What the hell? Why doesn't anybody believe him? You don't see any tigers around here, do you?

Re:How will they know.. (5, Insightful)

FroBugg (24957) | about 5 years ago | (#28648009)

They don't. That was one of the (many) problems with Project Stormfury, the government attempt to disrupt hurricanes with cloud seeding back in the 1960's. You don't get enough data to run any kind of reliable control. So not only do you not know for sure whether you're making a difference or not, you don't even know whether you're making things worse or not.

Unless they can somehow manage to drive their fleet into every forming hurricane and make every single one suddenly fall apart, any success they claim is going to be very open to interpretation.

Re:How will they know.. (3, Insightful)

eldavojohn (898314) | about 5 years ago | (#28648015)

Lets say they implement this sort of thing.. How will they ever know that they reduced the number of storms? The number of storms on a yearly basis is anything but consistent.

This is true--you wouldn't know instantly that you stopped a storm for sure. But as the length of time goes up without a hurricane, your confidence level rises until you surpass some threshold which is the longest distance of time between hurricanes. I'm sure meteorologists would like to speculate that the conditions are right but a new factor is stopping these storms. You'll just never really know.

Now, there's a lot of things you don't know whether or not you're changing. Such as the natural cycle of hurricanes influencing unknown factors like wildlife or pressure systems in other areas or rainfall up the East Coast being reduced resulting in lower crop yields and dryer soil? What effect (if any) will pumping this warm water down and cool water up have on the wildlife or natural currents of the ocean? It's warm and cold bodies of air that create natural cycling of air, I assume the same is true for water. If water went still, it might be great for us but bad for wildlife. I think there's a lot of questions one could raise about this. I'm not arguing against it, I just hope this is taken into consideration.

I mean, this 'weather control' should be used sparingly and I hope they don't take this to the next level and use airships to diffuse hot/cold fronts so that we don't get thunderstorms so that my power isn't knocked out for a few hours while my roommate complains he can't watch the latest episode of True Blood right away. Preventing hurricanes is a neat idea and I hope this works, I just hope there's not hidden costs like the rest of Bill's products. :)

Re:How will they know.. (5, Informative)

Sockatume (732728) | about 5 years ago | (#28648043)

For the curious [] . I'm not going to sit down and read out the data and figure out the standard deviation, but you're not kidding. You'd have to do this for decades to know how effective it was, and if it turns out to be useless, the environmental cost would have been wasted. I'd hate to be the guy who gets to do the risk-benefit analysis on that one.

Re:How will they know.. (1)

ByOhTek (1181381) | about 5 years ago | (#28648051)

You can use 10, 15, 20, etc. year averages, you can look at trends.

You can also look at weather patterns in an area, and determine how likely, historically, those weather patterns lead to storms, and then compare that to how likely they lead to storms "after treatment".

Determining success/failure won't be trivial, but it won't be anything resembling impossible either.

Oh, I don't know, but (2, Interesting)

Shivetya (243324) | about 5 years ago | (#28648179)

I figure it will probably be the same pseudo science employed by Gore.

In other words, claims of consensus, its for the children, we're smarter than you, and such should suffice.

Any reduction in storms proves their process works, any increase proves it wasn't executed properly and would work with more money and adherence to their process.

Re:Oh, I don't know, but (0, Flamebait)

Hubbell (850646) | about 5 years ago | (#28648299)

Sounds exactly like the ideas used behind global warming and Al Gore's Inconvenient Truth.
Very good [] dissection and dismantling of the global warming alarmists beliefs/'evidence'

Re:How will they know.. (1)

Robin47 (1379745) | about 5 years ago | (#28648223)

I suppose they will have to file an environmental impact report....

Re:How will they know.. (1)

kvezach (1199717) | about 5 years ago | (#28648295)

They'll just count the number of times a disembodied voice says "Weather control device activated!".

Re:How will they know.. (1)

weszz (710261) | about 5 years ago | (#28648389)

So you see the problem... if he PREVENTS the next Katrina, was it REALLY the next Katrina? or will the one he DOESN'T prevent be the next one?

Can anyone say environmental catastrophe?... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28647947)

Can anyone say environmental catastrophe?...

Re:Can anyone say environmental catastrophe?... (1)

noundi (1044080) | about 5 years ago | (#28648037)

environmental catastrophe

What do I win?

Re:Can anyone say environmental catastrophe?... (1)

techiemikey (1126169) | about 5 years ago | (#28648253)

nah, you just typed it right then.

Re:Can anyone say environmental catastrophe?... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28648301)

A one-way trip to the boneyard. (Arrr!)

Whatcouldpossiblygowrong! (2, Insightful)

mspohr (589790) | about 5 years ago | (#28647951)

I only have one thought...

Re:Whatcouldpossiblygowrong! (5, Funny)

bigpistol (1311191) | about 5 years ago | (#28648143)

Blue sky of death?

Re:Whatcouldpossiblygowrong! (1)

cashman73 (855518) | about 5 years ago | (#28648305)

Wonderful! So now, instead of seeing a BSOD in Windows, we'll look outside our windows and see a BSOD!

Familiar... (1)

UbuntuniX (1126607) | about 5 years ago | (#28647959)

This is Red Alert all over again!

Because knowing is half the battle (1)

Drakkenmensch (1255800) | about 5 years ago | (#28647965)

The next step of Gates' plan: Regroup all his weather-altering devices into a single prototype named the Weather Dominator. Proudly go on the air while wearing his blue uniform and matching helmet with mirrored facemask and announce his global domination plans. COBRAAAAAAAAAAAA!!!

Re:Because knowing is half the battle (1)

xarragon (944172) | about 5 years ago | (#28648013)

The next step of Gates' plan: Regroup all his weather-altering devices into a single prototype named the Weather Dominator. Proudly go on the air while wearing his blue uniform and matching helmet with mirrored facemask and announce his global domination plans. COBRAAAAAAAAAAAA!!!

Rofl, exactly what I was also instantly thinking of. Just think of the possibilities here, G.I. Tux action figurines, anyone?

Oblig. Dennis Miller quote (5, Funny)

Chris Mattern (191822) | about 5 years ago | (#28647969)

"Face it - Bill Gates is a about a white Persian cat and a monocle away from being a Bond villain."

Re:Oblig. Dennis Miller quote (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28648103)

I suspect we could forget about the cat and monocle if he only gets an antigravity chair and a weather control machine...

I already thought of this! (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28647975)

A co worker and I were already discussing this! Bill steals another idea and patents it... what's new?

Please (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28647985)

There are things we should not play with on the same planet as we LIVE ON!

I am sure you have good intentions with all this Gates, but the LAST thing we want to do is screw around with the weather.

A whole new meaning to BSOD (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28647989)

I hope they do not run Windows on those ships LOL.

  I can see the Hurricane helper now.

An Unknown Error has occurred.
Would you like to

Abort the mission.
Try again
Just curl up and die .

Whatta crock!

GOD mode (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28647997)

OMG he is god HeadOn. Apply directly to the forehead

Can gates pay the damages? (0)

Tuqui (96668) | about 5 years ago | (#28648005)

I think is not feasible. but anyway, if they can do it, New Orleans will be safe but Florida will receive the hurricane deviated.

Re:Can gates pay the damages? (0)

noundi (1044080) | about 5 years ago | (#28648075)

Shhhh!!! Don't spoil the ending!

can it work? (1)

martas (1439879) | about 5 years ago | (#28648017)

I know people understand hurricanes decently well, and clearly by taking/giving enough energy (heat) at the right locations in a hurricane you could theoretically stop it. But my question is - could this actually work? Or would it take so much energy that it's practically impossible with today's (or tomorrow's, etc) technology?

Re:can it work? (0)

martas (1439879) | about 5 years ago | (#28648033)

also, i've been wondering this for a while - what would happen if someone tried to, just for fun, blow up a nucular bomb in the middle of a hurricane? or a []

Re:can it work? (0)

jra (5600) | about 5 years ago | (#28648175)

I'm pretty sure the only winning move is not to play...

And, Bush aside, that's "nuc-le-ar".

Re:can it work? (0)

martas (1439879) | about 5 years ago | (#28648225)

really????? could you also please tell me when to use "you're" vs "your"?

Re:can it work? (1)

PhilHibbs (4537) | about 5 years ago | (#28648393)

It would make it even worse, the updraft caused by the explosion would suck in more air even faster and just add to the problem.

Re:can it work? (1)

martas (1439879) | about 5 years ago | (#28648429)

that would be hilarious! so then we need something that freezes very quickly instead? like, mr freeze, or ice nine?

Great Idea!! (1)

whisper_jeff (680366) | about 5 years ago | (#28648021)

That's a great idea!!

And there can't possibly be any consequences of doing something like that...

Gulf Stream (5, Insightful)

olsmeister (1488789) | about 5 years ago | (#28648029)

There has already been talk about the possible shutdown of the Gulf Stream plunging Europe into a mini-ice age. It seems like meddling with the mix of warm and cold ocean water in this fashion could make things even worse. And who knows what pumping billions of gallons of cold water from the depths up to the surface would do to the marine wildlife.

Nobody likes hurricanes. They cause massive destruction and they kill people. But they are part of nature.

I think a better solution would be to act a little smarter about where we build our population centers, and do not offer insurance to people who choose to build in a location where hurricanes are known to strike on a somewhat regular basis.

Re:Gulf Stream (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28648231)

I think a better solution would be to act a little smarter about where we build our population centers, and do not offer insurance to people who choose to build in a location where hurricanes are known to strike on a somewhat regular basis.

Slightly facetious: Like along the coast and in warm countries?

Re:Gulf Stream (4, Insightful)

selven (1556643) | about 5 years ago | (#28648277)

No one is saying you don't have the right to build in hurricane territory, it's just that insurance rates will be 10x higher and the government won't help you. So if you want to live in a warm place on the coast, go ahead, just make sure you eat the negative consequences yourself instead of passing them along to the taxpayer.

Re:Gulf Stream (2, Interesting)

cranky_chemist (1592441) | about 5 years ago | (#28648337)

I'll move away from the Gulf Coast as soon as everyone in Kansas and California are stripped of their homeowner's insurance. Oh, and also residents of New York, because only fools would live in a known terrorist target.

Re:Gulf Stream (1)

DeafZombie (1144079) | about 5 years ago | (#28648359)

Exactly what I was thinking... if I remember correctly -- and I probably don't -- changing the water temperature by even a couple of degrees can have a devastating effect on marine life, specially coral reef that are so sensitive to any changes (pH, temperature,...)
But you know what... we don't need them anyways, I am sure this new system will come with a screen saver that simulates all the marine life it destroys.

Re:Gulf Stream (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28648401)

olsmeister for president!

Vaporware... (5, Funny)

ghostis (165022) | about 5 years ago | (#28648031)

Great - more vaporware from Bill Gates... ;-)

Messing with a planet no less (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28648045)

Bill Gates working on some sort of OS for the World:

Blue Planet of Death??
We do not want the world to crash do we?


All fun and games (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28648071)

until you get a blue tornato of death

whatcouldpossiblygowrong (3, Funny)

dtml-try MyNick (453562) | about 5 years ago | (#28648083)

Where is the whatcouldpossiblygowrong tag when you need it?

I don't think there has ever been a more appropriate reason to use it....

The first thing I thought ... (4, Funny)

krou (1027572) | about 5 years ago | (#28648099)

Weather man: The sky is lovely and blue today ...
Us: ZOMG! Blue skyz of deathz!

So in other words.. (1)

arndawg (1468629) | about 5 years ago | (#28648101)

Bill Gates have made something that CRASHES the storms? I have very high hopes that this works. I just hope BSoD is not literal in this context.

Proof of concept (2, Funny)

Kupfernigk (1190345) | about 5 years ago | (#28648107)

I hope that no patent will be granted until they produce a working prototype. On another planet, identical to this one.

The catch is that as Bill would have to visit Magrathea to get the planet built, it would be cheaper just to engage them to fix the global warming on this one. (and add a few more fjords while at it.)

Where is the Borg icon? (1)

Ilgaz (86384) | about 5 years ago | (#28648127)

/. guys, this is the exact time to use Borg icon and it is missing.

Re:Where is the Borg icon? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28648381)

Do you even need the icon? Isn't the submission text bad enough?

He once controlled the world's PCs.

Bias, asinine, childish, and wrong. He didn't control the words PCs. He built a company that sells an Operating System that is still in use on more PCs than any other system in existence, including Linux.

The idiot that wrote the submission? He hates Microsoft. The idiot that posted the story with the included submission? He hates Microsoft too. So, rather than just getting the link and a detailed summary that helps readers decide if the news is worth a closer look, we get a nice chunk of bullshit included because some people have a chip on their shoulder and a small ePenis.

Wow. (1)

XPeter (1429763) | about 5 years ago | (#28648129)

He can control the weather AND Microsoft's nuclear missiles.

Gates-way to eco-disaster (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28648139)

Ok, as much as hurricanes hurt and destroy peoples homes, lives, and regions economies, I can tell you right now that to suppress them is A BAD IDEA.

Hurricane season and storm activity represent a huge portion of the rainfall/water collection/water renewal in the Caribbean, and is still a significant water contributor in the southern U.S.A., a region that is still experiencing drought conditions, even if its not as severe as last year. What, is this a plot to dry up an important freshwater source for a large region, then sell expensive desalination plants?! Desertification of a whole region to put up solar plants or harvest silicon?

Plus the hurricanes help to suck up all the warm water that's killing the the coral reefs - you know, one of the bastions against the waves pounding coastlines?

Oh wait, the Caribbean is full of small islands and a few unnecessary Central American countries that act as the hurricane buffer for the U.S.A., and absorb the majority of the insurance hikes when Florida/Louisiana/Texas gets hit. Shafting us and destroying our ecology is business as usual.

Clip (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28648145)

It looks like you are trying to suppress a hurricane. Would you like some help with that?

Truly Gates now thinks he is God (1, Insightful)

Dunbal (464142) | about 5 years ago | (#28648155)

The idea is to decrease the surface temperature, reducing or eliminating the heat-driven condensation that fuels the giant storms.

      Ludicrous, ridiculous, etc. NOTHING man can do on this planet can even begin to compare to the scale of energies involved in natural phenomena. There exists something called the British Thermal Unit. It's the amount of ENERGY required to heat (or cool) one pound of (fresh) water by one degree. Considering that one gallon of water is roughly 8 lbs, and one BTU is approximately equivalent to 1054 Joules, it takes close to 8000 Joules per gallon of water to cool it - in an hour. Plus I am assuming that an electric pump is just as efficient as a simple heat exchanger like an air conditioner, or a hot plate for that matter. Let's ignore all the friction in the kilometers of pipe, too.

      Now exactly how many TRILLIONS of gallons of water does Mr. Gates wish to cool by one degree? Assuming all you want to cool is the first 1 meter of depth of a 1 km x 1km patch of water contains 1 billion litres of water (around 264 million gallons). This would require at least 2.1 * 10^12 Joules of energy. And remember you have to deliver it in a limited time, in the path of the storm (which can change at any time - in fact is MORE LIKELY to change if you start cooling water ahead of it)? And let's not forget during the daytime you have to also account for sunlight, which will make your cooling process less efficient.

      Then let's not forget about all the life forms whose habitats will be altered by changing the water temperatures ever so slightly, especially by heating the bottom of the ocean by a few degrees (as if that was possible to be done by man).

      It would probably be much more energy efficient to evacuate the entire population of the coasts involved AND rebuild the damage.

      If the USPTO approves this, wait, no - they probably will. I at least would demand a working prototype, just like what was done for the warp drive someone tried to patent.

      I have never heard anything so stupid come from someone so smart. But then again we live in an era where politicians would have us believe that we humans are responsible for global warming, too...

Re:Truly Gates now thinks he is God (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | about 5 years ago | (#28648333)

Ludicrous, ridiculous, etc. NOTHING man can do on this planet can even begin to compare to the scale of energies involved in natural phenomena.

Strongly disagree. The only place the water temperature makes a difference is at the surface and a small change in temperature can have potentially devastating effects. On the flip side, nothing you can do by heating the ocean will likely help, because the ocean has already been heated; the energy is coming out and we are perceiving it.

On the other hand, we know relatively little about these weather patterns' formation - precisely how it happens is still something of a mystery. So odds are that if anything, they'll only make the problem worse, which is what usually happens when we tamper with weather [] .

Re:Truly Gates now thinks he is God (3, Informative)

Aladrin (926209) | about 5 years ago | (#28648345)

Didn't bother to RTFA, eh? He isn't trying to make warm water cold. He's moving cold water into the warm water via pumps. That's a hell of a lot easier.

Re:Truly Gates now thinks he is God (1)

selven (1556643) | about 5 years ago | (#28648347)

We've already increased the entire global temperature by 1 degree, killed off more species than anything else in the last 65 million years, destroyed up to 90% of trees in some areas, and all that without direct intent to alter the planet, so why can't we do more?

Re:Truly Gates now thinks he is God (1)

The Mgt (221650) | about 5 years ago | (#28648373)

Nah. He's more like John Klieg, the patent troll from John Barnes' Mother of Storms [] .

It's apropos that Gates should be the one doing it (2, Interesting)

jra (5600) | about 5 years ago | (#28648157)

Cause the most prominent argument regularly put forth as to why weather control is bad is:

Do *you* want to be the one who causes lots of insurance companies to have to pay out because someone can make a reasonable case that where the hurricane landed was no longer an Act Of God?

Gates is used to playing God.

Re:It's apropos that Gates should be the one doing (1)

Aladrin (926209) | about 5 years ago | (#28648385)

Cripes, all we need is for insurance companies to add 'lack of action by God' to their list of things they don't cover.

Senility driven (1)

cepayne (998850) | about 5 years ago | (#28648161)

And he'll find a way to demand ridiculous payment from all of you while
he's at it.

Just another stab at charging for something that can't be done. But he
will convince you that you need it.

It's proof that nobody can avoid senility.

Easy (3, Funny)

mlush (620447) | about 5 years ago | (#28648169)

He just declares flooding as the new international standard

Two Words (1)

kjhambrick (111698) | about 5 years ago | (#28648197)

God Complex

1000 level (3, Interesting)

slashdime (818069) | about 5 years ago | (#28648201)

I took a 1000 level Earth and Atmospheric Sciences class a few years ago and one of the first things we touched upon was this idea. And why it wouldn't work. Before we even ask the question of why Bill Gates is doing this, let's ask the question of why he's patenting it?

Re:1000 level (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28648415)

Ah yes, listen everyone, slashdime took a class on college about this.

Lousy idea, for 2 reasons ... (1)

tomhudson (43916) | about 5 years ago | (#28648213)

  1. The cold water is at depth for a reason - it's heavier. It'll take a lot of energy (more heat, more greenhouse gases, etc) to pump cold water to the surface
  2. The cold water isn't going to float on the surface for the same reason - it's heavier.

Re:Lousy idea, for 2 reasons ... (1)

beowulfcluster (603942) | about 5 years ago | (#28648411)

If you'd RTFA you'd known he's pumping warm water down, not cold water up. Not sure what that difference means to the chances of this thing working but hey.

Error in logic (2, Insightful)

denzacar (181829) | about 5 years ago | (#28648427)

1. Why would you pump cold water up? It is a heat sink. You pump the heat down.
2. Well THAT is the point. Do you put ice in your drink so it would just drop to the bottom or perhaps to cool the drink by absorbing the heat?

Anyway... Give Gates a LITTLE credit. The guy is NOT a moron after all.
RTFA - his idea is quite simple and rather carbon neutral (once you build a huge fleet of ships).
Basically, the idea is to use pressure and temperature differences to "pump" the warm surface water to the bottom.

What ecological and climate consequences might pumping huge amounts of warm water to the bottom of the ocean and disrupting natural air and water currents might have... that is a matter of FAR more research and calculation.

After the disaster that was Vista... (2, Funny)

kulakovich (580584) | about 5 years ago | (#28648219)

... he owes us one.


Hurricane BSOD (2, Funny)

mc1138 (718275) | about 5 years ago | (#28648221)

I guess Bill is taking what he learned from Windows and applying it to the weather...

The Blue Sky Of Death (0, Redundant)

smartin (942) | about 5 years ago | (#28648247)

Someone had to say it

Uhhh oooh (4, Funny)

azav (469988) | about 5 years ago | (#28648255)

GPF in Rainfall.exe. Abort, retry or ignore?

Gates should heavily arm his fleet . . . (1)

PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) | about 5 years ago | (#28648263)

. . . he is destined to encounter, and do battle with piracy.

This time the real thing.

Isn't this all linked?? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28648291)

I am no enviromental scientist or anything...

But wouldn't decreasing the surface temperature of the ocean also decrease the temperature of the winds blowing over it and subsequently result in affecting the global temperature substantially? Hmm...

Having worked in the weather community... (3, Informative)

joedoc (441972) | about 5 years ago | (#28648339)

...for a number of years (though I'm an IT guy, not a meteorologist), I learned enough to know that not only is this doomed to failure, they should already know that it's not scientifically possible.

How in the name of God are they going to generate the energy needed to cool the water at "greater" ocean depths? The would have to launch a fleet of ships far greater then they can possibly imagine.

Not only does this appear to be scientifically and logistically improbable, but have they ever considered the issues with screwing with global weather patterns? Stopping hurricanes (or, in reality, stopping their potential capability for damage to humans and land structures) is a noble dream, but every weather even had both positive and negative affects on other weather patterns, events that we actually may want to occur.

He would be better off taking all the money he'd invest in this silliness and hand it over to people in hurricane-damaged areas so they can rebuild. Or move.

How excessively dumb (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28648341)

Yes, in the short term, this will cool the surface temperatures.

However, warmer water cannot hold on to as much CO2. This is the reason for, ~800 years after warming by being nearer the sun, the oceans release CO2 and increase the effect of the milankovich cycle.

It takes, without deliberate mixing by humans, 800 years to warm the deep waters enough to let go of its load.

With mixing, not so long.

Is this barnpot dictator INSANE????

Not a good idea (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28648351)

Don't hurricanes serve as a major way for Mother Nature to blow off heat into space?

And Gates not only wants to prevent this, but instead to use this heat to warm up the deeper parts of the ocean?

It seems to me that this -- if it works -- could cause as many problems as it solves.

This is Slashdot... (1)

maijc (1365289) | about 5 years ago | (#28648355)

So no, Only RMS can Prevent Katrina {Linus can help}

What the heck are we doing... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28648365)

First, we're fighting "climate change" like the war on drugs... Nothing will change as we don't have the power to. Next, we're fighting storms by water temperature into the ocean. ...And we think scientists saying the world was flat was insane. The future is going to be getting a good chuckle out of this generation's "science".

Finally! Some use for the tactical nuclear bombs! (1)

140Mandak262Jamuna (970587) | about 5 years ago | (#28648369)

Mixing cold water at depths with warm surface water quickly is impossible with pumps and stuff. Just drop a nuclear depth charge and explode it about a mile below the surface! Instantly all that water will mix together and the storm will dissipate. 16000 warheads from Russia and 8000 warheads from U.S.A, we can prevent hurricanes for the next, what 3, years?

Obvious? (2, Insightful)

PhilHibbs (4537) | about 5 years ago | (#28648371)

I've been thinking about this for some time. A network of floating pumps across the belt where hurricanes form, solar powered, to pump cool water from a few tens of meters down up to the surface. When a depression is spotted, just turn on the pumps in its path to reduce the amount of surface heat to feed it. My oceanographer friend tells me I'm talking nonsense.

great now whats going to happen to my shrimp.. (1)

Nocturnal Deviant (974688) | about 5 years ago | (#28648387)

trust me im not a PETA member im thinking more about the edible yummies in the ocean...what type of environmental effect could this possibly have on fishie global freezing, i mean i really doubt their climate for water has changed too much in years now imagine it suddenly 20 degrees or so cooler? hell imagine it 20 degrees colder in any of our winters, idk about yall but id move to the equator...

it's too bad (1)

jcombel (1557059) | about 5 years ago | (#28648417)

if only gates knew there were people obviously much smarter than him posting on slashdot at five am!!!

Anyone who thinks they can change the weather.. (2, Interesting)

WCMI92 (592436) | about 5 years ago | (#28648435)

Anyone who thinks they can change the weather is either absorbed in hubris or insane.

A Hurricane can't be stopped or prevented. Or influenced in any way by anything human beings could do to it. You could detonate the largest nuclear bomb ever made in the middle of a hurricane and it wouldn't even dent it. A hurricane has so much energy that it releases more energy than all explosives ever detonated by humans every MINUTE...

No, gates can't, because Bush flooded New Orleans (1, Insightful)

doginthewoods (668559) | about 5 years ago | (#28648447)

First off, Katrina was just a CAT 3 when it went through New Orleans, and it was not not a direct hit. The levees should have held, but---
Katrina, aka the flooding of New Orleans, was caused by George Bush. Follow this: In 19945 a federal program, called SELA, was created in response to a flooding in Louisiana, that was due to deteriorated levees. This program included a full inspection of all the MS river and Lake Ponchartrain levees, then repairs and upgrades to meet current demands, as needed. Well, the first thing old George does when he gets into office is to cut taxes for the rich- he immediately wasted the surplus Clinton left him. That wasn't enough to balance the cuts, so, and here we get to the heart of the matter, Bush cuts the Army Corps of Engineers' Levee repair funds (SELA) to less than one fourth of what is needed. And not for just one year, but for three, in three seperate USA fiscal year's budgets:
June 7, 2001 Bush signed his massive $1.3 trillion income tax cut into law-- a tax cut that severely depleted the government of revenues it needed to address critical priorities. Bush's first budget introduced in February 2001 proposed more than half a billion dollars worth of cuts to the Army Corps of Engineers for the 2002 fiscal year. Bush proposed providing only half of what his own administration officials said was necessary to sustain the critical Southeast Louisiana Flood Control Project (SELA).
February 2002 The president unveiled his new budget, this one with a $390 million cut to the Army Corps. The administration provided just $5 million for maintaining and upgrading critical hurricane protection levees in New Orleans (SELA) --one fifth of what government experts and Republican elected officials in Louisiana told the administration was needed.
February 2, 2004 White House on February 2 released a budget with another massive cut to infrastructure and public works projects-- this time to the tune of $460 million. The Southeast Louisiana Flood Control project sought $100 million in U.S. aid to strengthen the levees holding back the Mississippi River and Lake Pontchartrain, but the Bush administration offered a paltry $16.5 million.
On top of that, Bush refused to put emergency relief in place before, during and after the storm, unlike Nixon, Clinton and Bush 1. He also turned away relief efforts, like a private bus co. offering to come get the people still in the city, the red cross, and stopping the USS Bataan, a hospital ship, from going from MS to NOLA, to help.
Gates can't make a dumass in charge do the right thing, but Katrina didn't flood New Orleans. Stupid George did.
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