Norweigan scientists think cold air bubbles could disrupt hurricanes

- Scientists in Norway think they've found a way to weaken hurricanes before they even make landfall. 

Warm waters provide fuel for strengthening hurricanes, but researchers at SINTEF, a think tank headquartered in Norway, say a method they’ve been using in their country for many years, called the “bubble curtain,” could be the answer. 

During Norwegian winters, the sea surface is colder, but warmer waters can be found down below. So they use perforated pipes lowered into the water to release bubbles of compressed air.  The bubbles carry the warmer water to the surface. This keeps the fjords clear of ice for ships to pass through. 

They say the same concept can apply in the Gulf of Mexico, but in reverse: By bringing colder water to the surface from as deep as 500 feet. Such a project could cost billions of dollars, but researchers identified oil production platforms as an option for the piping.

They say the Yucantan peninsula in Mexico would be an ideal location to test the idea.

“It wouldn’t eliminate these hurricanes,” said FOX 13 meteorologist Dave Osterberg, who discussed the theory during Good Day Tampa Bay, “but it could keep them from having that rapid, rapid intensification process.”

Osterberg said, however, hurricanes are Earth’s way of transferring heat from the equators to the poles since heat is distributed unevenly on the planet. The Norweigan process could mess with Mother Nature, he feared.

“Unfortunately, these storms have been around a lot longer than we have,” he added, “and honestly, we’re in their way. They’re not in our way.”

We also wouldn’t know if there would be consequences, he said.

“What would that do to the overall weather pattern of the Earth? Would it throw it off? Would something else even more dangerous be created? That’s the answer you just don’t know,” he said. “In theory, I understand it. And yes, this could work given the right amount of money and everything is placed in the right spot. But is it something we should be messing with? That’s where people could disagree.”

LINK: To learn more from SINTEF’s theory, click over to their website here.

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