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To theoretically weaken a hurricane, the seeding process is more complicated. At first scientists thought they could seed the eyewall and perturb the hurricane�s wind outwards, thus weakening the hurricane (Anthes 1982; Willoughby et al. 1985). By the mid-1960s scientists realized this theory was flawed. A revised theory evolved in which one seeds the clouds just outside the eyewall to stimulate cloud growth away from the eyewall. The new outer eyewall would grow, depriving inflow into the older, inner eyewall. The result is a weakening inner eyewall, resulting in less subsidence in the eye and a rise in central pressure. If the pressure increases, inflowing air is unable to penetrate to as small a radius, and most of the new ascent occurs at the new outer eyewall. Eventually the new eyewall would replace the old eyewall, but at a larger distance from the center. Just as ice skaters slow their rotation when their arms are spread out, a larger eyewall radius would cause a reduction in wind speed.
Cloud seeding was first tested when several U.S. government agencies collaborated in a pioneering weather modification effort known as Project Cirrus (Willoughby et al. 1985). Among other notable firsts was the first cloud seeding of a hurricane. On October 13, 1947 a plane dropped silver iodide into a hurricane moving to the northeast. Observers on the plane noted changes in the visual appearance of the cloud, but could not demonstrate any changes in structure or intensity. However, shortly afterwards the hurricane reversed course to the west, making landfall on the coasts of Georgia and South Carolina. It is extremely unlikely the seeding altered the course, since hurricanes are mostly guided by constantly shifting large-scale atmospheric currents. However, the political and legal implications taught scientists to be more careful about where they conducted their hurricane seeding experiments. Future attempts at hurricane modification occurred only in hurricanes which were: 1) far from all land masses; and 2) unlikely to make landfall within 24 hours.
Four more years were to pass before the next modification experiment. The years 1964-1968 were generally inactive hurricane seasons, and the hurricanes which did occur were either too close to land or out of flight range. Scientists also realized that the eyewall-seeding hypothesis was incorrect, resulting in the revised hypothesis of seeding outside the eyewall. The modified hypothesis was tested on Hurricane Debbie on August 18 and August 20, 1969 when more than a thousand seedings of silver iodide were made each day.
Energy traders are keeping a watchful eye on Gustav's projected path, as the Gulf of Mexico is home to about a quarter of U.S. oil production, according to Reuters.
The Department of Homeland Security has asked scientists to draw up new plans on how hurricanes and other tropical storms can be weakened before they hit land.
Three years after Hurricane Katrina caused more than $50bn of damage and killed 1,800 people when it blasted through New Orleans, American government officials have asked for a new programme into hurricane modification.
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Cover, Richard Loring (1951): An Economic Analysis of Oil Conservation Policy ...... Swan, Edward Patrick (1976): The Economics of Hurricane Modification. ...
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What is cloud seeding?
Cloud seeding is the process of spreading either dry ice (or more commonly, silver iodide aerosols) into the upper part of clouds to try to stimulate the precipitation process and form rain. Since most rainfall starts through the growth of ice crystals from super-cooled cloud droplets (droplets colder than the freezing point, 32 deg. F) in the upper parts of clouds, the silver iodide particles are meant to encourage the growth of new ice particles
REDUCING THE INTENSITY OF HURRICANES THROUGH SEEDING? In the early 1960's, the National Hurricane Center began a series of experiments in seeding of hurricanes to reduce their intensity.
Since 1999, Cordani and his team of experts -- including weather expert, professor and author Dr. Peter Ray -- have been conducting in-house laboratory testing and field testing of Dyn-O-Mat's Dyn-O-Gel polymer. All tests to date have reportedly proven the substance's ability to lessen the impact of violent storms and fires through cloud-seeding. In fact, Dyn-O-Mat has been issued a patent by the U.S. patent office for seeding clouds with polymer.
And Livingston is not the first expert to state that cloud seeding holds promise. In an interview aired July 7, 2000, on CBS News's "The Early Show," Dr. Hugh Willoughby, director of NOAA's Hurricane Research Division, said Cordani's proposal "has a chance.
Meanwhile, Canadian insurers spend millions each year on cloud seeding to help reduce the size of damaging hailstones.
The increased frequency and severity of hail and rain storms, particularly in 2005 and 2007, should be of concern to the industry. Since construction costs are rising and labour demand has picked up, frequent storms have led to an increase in claims severity on property coverage for Canadian insurers.