Tuesday, April 21, 2009

It's Not Nice To Mess With Mother Nature...

Recently we posted about PG&E's deal with Solaren that contemplated a space-based solar array beaming energy down to receivers in Fresno. Any time we get to type the words "death ray" into a post, it becomes an instant favorite, but the story gets better...

Thanks to the intrepid reporters at slashdot.com, we found a Wired.com piece about the project which reveals that the Solaren project is about more than just solar power. It is also designed to alter weather. As in, "kill hurricanes."

The following excerpt is from the Wired write-up (via slashdot):

"By heating up the upper and middle levels of an infant hurricane, they say they could disrupt the flows of air that power the enormous storms. Air warmed by tropical waters flows up through a hurricane and is vented through the eye into the upper atmosphere. Theoretically, you could heat up the top of the storm and lower the pressure differential between layers, resulting in a weaker storm.

Attempts at weather modification have taken many forms over the decades from cloud seeding to the strange fans that vineyards use for hyperlocal weather modding. Some analysts have even speculated that geoengineering techniques could allow countries to weaponize the climate by subtly turning an enemy country's brehttp://hardware.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=09/04/20/1620254adbasket into a desert, for example. Hurricanes have also been a target of dozens of plans to alter their courses or slow their winds."

Consider us officially freaked out.

Hurricane-Killing, Space-Based Power Plant [Wired.com, via slashdot.com]