The hurricane fighting fleet of airplanes was alerted five days ago and has since then been spraying the ocean surface around Pedro’s eye with a mix based on biodegradable oil to slow down the evaporating that feeds the hurricane. Even though progress have been made calculating the development of a hurricane, it is still difficult to determine the exact effect of the spraying, but analysts believe it is the reason that the wind speed has not increased.
It is hard to tell exactly what kind of damages a category five hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson scale could do to the southern part of Florida. Estimations show that the difference between a category four and five hurricane could equal 10% of the damages, which if Pedro was in a bad mood, could be about US$ 17 billion. If these estimations are correct, the much debated investment in the hurricane fighting fleet was well worth it.
The taming of Pedro gives good hope for the future since the number of hurricanes has increased during the last 30 years, mainly because of the global warming. Hurricanes need a water temperature of at least 27 degrees Celsius which has become more common during this period.
Argument: According to Ross N. Hoffman, Vice President of Atmospheric and Environmental Research, it is possible to control hurricanes, by coating the ocean surface with a thin film of a biodegradable oil that slows evaporation. The estimated cost is based on the damage that the hurricane Andrew caused in Florida in 1992, in the value of year 2040.
Questions: Are there other ways to control hurricanes? How well will future computer power and software help us in calculating the weather in general and hurricanes in particular?