(Image: Lockheed C-130 Hercules, Credit: US Air Force)
While no one has yet found a way to reduce the wrath of an enraged hurricane, one scientist from Israel thinks that influencing these violent storms may be possible with a "little dust."
(Israel 21st Century) According to noted Israeli weather specialist Prof Daniel Rosenfeld of Hebrew University, seeding a hurricane with microscopic dust could sharply reduce its force.
The findings of his study - which showed that dust dropped into the lower part of Hurricane Katrina would have reduced wind speeds and diverted its course - were presented last month at the European Conference on Severe Storms in Trieste, Italy.
Rosenfeld's concept, which was developed with several colleagues, builds on empirical research which shows that large dust clouds from Africa tend to hinder the formation deep storm clouds and hinder the formation of hurricanes when tropical systems are crossing the Atlantic.
Rosenfeld's hypothesis calls for at least 5-10 Lockheed C-130s cargo planes to seed the hurricanes with fine dust particles, thus slowly (but surely) weakening the raging storms before they hit land.
A similar idea had been pursued before by the US, although America quickly gave up the idea after just four tests. Rosenfeld seems to be more persistent than that, as he probably realizes that a success here could ultimately help reduce the loss of life and property to major population centers.
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