24 March 2007

Doing Something About the Weather At Last, Sam

Everybody talks about the weather, but nobody does anything about it. But now engineer and inventor Stephen Salter is suggesting that maybe it wouldn't be so hard to do something about the weather at all.
In his scheme, seawater will be sucked up from the ocean into pipes within the blades. Nozzles at the ends of these pipes will turn the water into an aerosol and spray fine droplets from the trailing edges of the blades 5 to 20 metres above the sea surface into the turbulent wake of the rotor.

This, Salter points out, will hugely increase the surface area of water that can be turned into water vapour. The turbine will also overcome one of the main brakes on evaporation from the ocean, he argues. The problem is a wafer-thin layer of stagnant, humid air that clings to the surface of the sea and prevents water molecules from escaping.

Salter calculates that with a wind speed of 8 metres per second, each "spray turbine" could lift more than half a cubic metre of water a second to a height of 10 metres. Hundreds or even thousands of the machines in hot areas of the world could make enough rain to prevent droughts, he estimates. "The successful large-scale deployment of spray turbines could reduce the number of people who are short of water by several billion."

Read more at Fatknowledge Blog, a very fine blog indeed.

While Salter's "ocean mist" scheme may be tagged as a way to combat global warming, in reality it is a way to stir up the weather considerably, and hopefully to reduce drought and bring fresh water to many people who are presently without it. The lack of clean fresh water is a far greater environmental problem than the more fashionable CAGW. We should never forget that water vapour is the most meaningful greenhouse gas, but that water in the atmosphere performs a very complex function that is not amenable to current climate models.

Labels: , , ,

Bookmark and Share


Blogger Fat Knowledge said...


Thanks for the props.

I have no idea if this will work, but I think it is high time that we humans attempt to manipulate the weather and this seems like a good low budget way to give it a try.

Saturday, 24 March, 2007  
Blogger al fin said...

Putting appreciably more water vapour into the atmospheric circulation cannot help but change local weather, at least. It may change a lot more than that--climate models are still at a very primitive stage in terms of meaningful predictions.

As a sailor, I am always concerned about potential navigation hazards. If they can solve that problem, I would like to see it tried--incrementally.

Wednesday, 28 March, 2007  
Blogger Unknown said...

Water in the air is energy, condense it and you get almost 1000 BTU/lb. This is the battery that drives hurricanes.

Part of the information used by hurricane forecasters is surface water temps...storms love that warm, agitated water.

It would be lovely to give nice day-long showers to the deserts, but less pleasant to generate storms.

Tuesday, 17 June, 2008  

Post a Comment

“During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act” _George Orwell

<< Home

Newer Posts Older Posts