Bill Gates to Control Hurricanes: DOH!

From the “would you, could you, with a boat department”. Bill goes macro. The Simpsons are cited by patent watcher.

Patent watcher “theodp,” who tipped us off to the filings, says he was reminded of “The Simpsons” as he read through them. “The richest man in the world hatches a plan to alter weather and ecology in return for insurance premiums and fees from governments and individuals,” he writes. “It’s got kind of a Mr. Burns feel to it, no?”

I guess Bill has been talking to the G-8 people and their temperature control ideas. Note to Bill: nature will squish you and your ideas like a bug. In the meantime with ACE values being low according to COAPS Ryan Maue and Steve McIntyre showing cooler temperatures on the SST map for Gulf Coast hurricane development areas, it looks like they may have to wait a year or two to try out their ideas. The idea? Basically, ship mounted pumps to circulate cooler water from below the thermocline to the surface by forcing surface water downward first. Good luck with that. – Anthony

Spoof photo from the New York Post

One force of nature vs. another: Bill Gates tries to stop hurricanes

By Todd Bishop on Techflash

A diagram from one of the newly disclosed Gates and Myhrvold patent filings, depicting a deployment of hurricane-supression vessels in the Gulf of Mexico.

Recent patent filings have shown Bill Gates and his friends exploring subjects as diverse as electromagnetic engines and beer kegs. Now they’re thinking even bigger — trying to stop hurricanes.

Microsoft’s chairman is among the inventors listed on a new batch of patent applications that propose using large fleets of vessels to suppress hurricanes through various methods of mixing warm water from the surface of the ocean with colder water at greater depths. The idea is to decrease the surface temperature, reducing or eliminating the heat-driven condensation that fuels the giant storms.

The filings were made by Searete LLC, an entity tied to Intellectual Ventures, the Bellevue-based patent and invention house run by Nathan Myhrvold, the former Microsoft chief technology officer. Myhrvold and several others are listed along with Gates as inventors.

The diagram at right is from one of five related patent applications made public this morning. So how exactly do they plan to stop hurricanes? Here’s an excerpt from the filing that explains the diagram.

Vessel 100 is a tub-like structure having one or more walls 110 and a bottom 115. Vessel 100 may be held buoyant in the water by one or more buoyancy tanks 120 which may be used to maintain the buoyancy of vessel 100 and further may be used to control the height of walls 110 above the water level. Vessel 100 also includes a conduit 125 whose horizontal cross section is substantially smaller than the horizontal cross section of the tub portion 130 of the vessel defined by walls 110. In an exemplary embodiment, conduit 125 extends well below the ocean surface including depths below the ocean’s thermocline.

In most circumstances, most of the sunlight impinging on the ocean surface is absorbed in the surface layer. The surface layer therefore heats up. Wind and waves move water in this surface layer which distributes heat within it. The temperature may therefore be reasonably uniform to depths extending a few hundred feet down from the ocean surface. Below this mixed layer, however, the temperature decreases rapidly with depth, for example, as much as 20 degrees Celsius with an additional 150 m (500 ft) of depth. This area of rapid transition is called the thermocline. Below it, the temperature continues to decrease with depth, but far more gradually. In the Earth’s oceans, approximately 90% of the mass of water is below the thermocline. This deep ocean consists of layers of substantially equal density, being poorly mixed, and may be as cold as -2 to C.

Therefore, the lower depths of the ocean may be used as a huge heat/energy sink which may be exploited by vessel 100. When vessel 100 is deployed at sea, waves 135 may lap over the top of walls 110 to input warm (relative to deeper waters) surface ocean water into tub 130. Tub 130 will fill to a level 140 which is above the average ocean level depicted as level 145. Because of the difference between levels 140 and 145, a pressure head is created thereby pushing warm surface ocean water in a downward direction 150 down through conduit 125 to exit into the cold ocean depths (relative to near surface waters) through one or more openings 155. In an exemplary embodiment, the depth of opening 155 may be located below the ocean’s thermocline, the approximate bottom of which is depicted as line 160. This cycle will be continuous in bringing warm surface ocean water to great depth as ocean waves continue to input water into tub 130. If many of vessel 100 are distributed throughout a region of water, the temperature of the surface of the water may be altered.

“Many” is the important concept there at the end.

Gates, Myhrvold and associates aren’t the first to propose reducing the ocean’s surface temperature as a means of suppressing hurricanes, said David Nolan, an associate professor of meteorology and physical oceanography at the University of Miami’s Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science.

“Every couple of years there’s a news story that gets picked up for some hurricane-suppression idea,” Nolan said via phone this morning. “They’re all kooky in their own way. Some of them are more plausible than others, but they all face an enormous problem of scale. … You would have to cover an incredible area with this effect to reduce the temperature of the ocean by a significant amount.”

Of course, a big difference in this case is that one of the people making the suggestion is one of the world’s richest men. But don’t look for Gates to fund the deployment of thousands of these vessels. One of the patent filings proposes paying for the equipment through the sale of insurance policies in hurricane-prone areas, in addition to funding from state, federal and local government agencies.

Patent watcher “theodp,” who tipped us off to the filings, says he was reminded of “The Simpsons” as he read through them. “The richest man in the world hatches a plan to alter weather and ecology in return for insurance premiums and fees from governments and individuals,” he writes. “It’s got kind of a Mr. Burns feel to it, no?”

The hurricane-suppression patent applications date to early 2008, but they were first made public this morning.

These and previous Searete LLC patent filings are believed to result from brainstorming sessions regularly held by Intellectual Ventures, in which Gates has been known to take part. It’s not clear how or when Intellectual Ventures might go forward with any of these ideas.

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Steve in NZ
July 12, 2009 5:49 pm

Sounds like Bill has been spending too much time with his friend Warren Buffet, trying to get some “float” from both ocean and insurance premiums.

July 12, 2009 5:52 pm

LOL, what can yah say! i suppose “excellent” (whilst flexing fingers together.)
While we’re at it, we could just dam the Bering Strait…. and see what happens 🙂 Or perhaps drop some nuclear depth charges and change the ocean floors topography to cause an up welling of natural currents… and see what happens. thank god im not a billionaire!

July 12, 2009 5:54 pm

Hmmm … it actually appears that they expect to pump warm water to *below* the surface as opposed to bringing up colder water …. just one man’s read of the patent …

July 12, 2009 6:03 pm

I don’t know if this merits our ridicule.
Do I think it will work? Er, no, but more power to them. And at least Bill is not wasting tax dollars.

July 12, 2009 6:05 pm

Just a word to Bill and everyone else who thinks this is a good idea. When pulling the cold water from say 5-600 ft below and introducing it to the surface you in affect change the eco system at the surface. This will kill many many surface fish which do not thrive in cold less oxygenated water. This is one of the most absurd ideas I’ve heard. Its not the first I’ve heard of it. Now Gates who can command the resources is someone who can actually do this and it won’t be that hard to do. If they do they will screw the fishery up in the Gulf of Mexico. If they want to take on this attitude and be so callous and nearsighted about the Gulf then why not go back to treating all the oceans with this kind of harmful activity. This is insane.
I’m no greenie. I’m conservative and an independant thinker. I am from the Gulf region and I know a lot about the Gulf of Mexico. I’ve been recreational fishing in it for 43 years. This would be a boondoggle of epic proportions. Yea they can cool the surface but they’re not going to like what happens to the fishery when completed. There’s a reason for thermo seperation in different water columns. I have no way of really being exact about the results. I just no what eco systems exists and how the different species of fish live accordingly. I pray this does not come to be.

July 12, 2009 6:08 pm

Well, then, if you want installations in the gulf of Mexico to pump water up from the depths…Have I Got A Deal For You!
There are hundreds of oil production platforms with ample pumping capacity, readily available energy sources (in the form of clean natural gas that accompanies oil) and on-site technical support 24/7/52.
I am quite sure that these guys would be more than happy to pump cold water up from the depths. Piece of cake!
You will. of course, pay them a generous fee for this valuable service.

July 12, 2009 6:10 pm

The heedless arrogance is simply mind-boggling.

July 12, 2009 6:11 pm

Easier to “paint” the sea surface white to reflect the sunlight, yes?

July 12, 2009 6:12 pm

Pump cold water up, pump hot water down…tomato, tomahto…

July 12, 2009 6:15 pm

i meant “dam” the berring strait!
I thought you meant “Damn the Berring Strait, Full Speed Ahead!

July 12, 2009 6:15 pm

I’m trying to comprehend this idea, but my brain keeps responding “Error 404 File not found.”
I’m getting a disturbing image of a bearded white-robed Omnipotent Bill Gates hovering above Earth with his fingers poised over “Ctrl-Alt-Delete.”

July 12, 2009 6:15 pm

This from Real Climate …They have decided to postpone AGW until 2020… what drivel!
This (below in quotes) has been published. Can you believe it? Of course this is required to keep their PC game jobs LOL
“We hypothesize that the established pre-1998 trend is the true forced warming signal, and that the climate system effectively overshot this signal in response to the 1997/98 El Niño. This overshoot is in the process of radiatively dissipating, and the climate will return to its earlier defined, greenhouse gas-forced warming signal. If this hypothesis is correct, the era of consistent record-breaking global mean temperatures will not resume until roughly 2020.

July 12, 2009 6:16 pm

i agree with jim. it looks like they will send surface water down, which means that the water goes up to the surface will be from just under it, not a long ways down, which in turn means it won’t be all that cold. they will need just that many more of these ships to influence the surface temperature.
also, this seems to rely on gravity and pressure (a higher water level in the vessel than out), which will be a less efficient pump than a real pump.
sounds kind of hare-brained to me. a lot like the schemes from the 70s to combat global cooling.

July 12, 2009 6:17 pm

Yes…And he’ll do it for One BILLION Dollars.
But Dr. Evil, we paid that much in taxes last year.
Okay…One Trillion Dollars.

July 12, 2009 6:17 pm

You just can’t make this stuff up… ROFLMAO …

July 12, 2009 6:18 pm

One question does come to mind, how much CO2 do you suppose this effort will create? … again … ROFLMAO

July 12, 2009 6:19 pm

A major problem is that Hurricane development is only partially a factor of sea surface temperatures (important, to be sure, but hardly the end of the story) So a really effective procedure would need to look at loads of other factors and influence them, too. But the whole scheme neglects the fact that Hurricanes are an important natural component of the Earth’s weather system-mess with them and you could upset a whole chain of connected things.
Call this an idea which “Sounds good, until you think about it”.

em butler
July 12, 2009 6:19 pm

just consider the circumstances if he is successful…
law suits and plenty of them..
hurricanes making it to shore will kill and bill will be responsible
if he changes the storms course..same outcome..

July 12, 2009 6:22 pm

Hmmm. In the grand scheme of things, don’t hurricanes serve a function?

Ron de Haan
July 12, 2009 6:22 pm

This is business as usual for Bill.
He buys an idea and exploits it.
This idea is from Mr. James Lovelocks:
His company Microsoft, has announced it will leave the USA territory (staff included) if confronted with tax rises and taxes on foreign activities.
Now he is undertaking actual “off shore” activities pumping cold water instead of hot air. The IRS will have a hand full on this one.
Why is it that people with real money become such a pain in the ass?

Antonio San
July 12, 2009 6:22 pm

It will be hilarious when no hurricane will be stopped by this simplistic science… ignorance is king

Jim Stegman
July 12, 2009 6:30 pm

In college back in 1975 I wrote a term paper which discussed pumping cold water from the depths to produce power in a Rankine cycle using a refrigerant as a working fluid. This idea has been around a long time, I hope they deny his patent request.

July 12, 2009 6:31 pm

No active pumping. Wave action will fill a container to above the average sea level. Being higher than sea level, water will be forced down the tube. There is no mention in this summary of insulation, so the warm surface water will give up its heat on the way down through the walls of the tank and pipe. The shallow subsurface water will be warmed somewhat.

July 12, 2009 6:31 pm

Now that I think about it…I got dibs on the idea of oil rigs to pump heat around (for carbonn credits, I’m sure)….Copyright July 12, 2009…WestHoustonGeo (a legitimate psuedonym – I’ll file a DBA tommorow)).

July 12, 2009 6:43 pm

No problem. I assume it will be running Windows, so we’ll have nothing to worry about.

July 12, 2009 6:43 pm

If the idea weren’t so ludicrous, I’d be worried. A great deal of the Southern part of the country depends on the water that a hurricane brings in to replenish aquifers, reservoirs, etc. That water then is used to grow food, cotton, trees, and so on in addition to watering lawns, flushing toilets and drinking in Atlanta and other major cities.
Bill should stick to philanthropic activities.

July 12, 2009 6:47 pm

timetochooseagain (18:19:26) :
A major problem is that Hurricane development is only partially a factor of sea surface temperatures (important, to be sure, but hardly the end of the story) So a really effective procedure would need to look at loads of other factors and influence them, too. But the whole scheme neglects the fact that Hurricanes are an important natural component of the Earth’s weather system-mess with them and you could upset a whole chain of connected things.

As I understand it, would it not be easier to simply reduce the dust coming off of the West Coast of Africa? I thought I read somewhere that the dust coming from dry areas of Africa are what seed the storms kicked off of that continent, primarily Western Sahara. Wouldn’t it be easier just to set up some sprinklers there and keep the dust down?

Barry L.
July 12, 2009 6:47 pm

So….. if it were oil and water, and we pumped oil below the water…. um….. it would float back to the surface.
But, assuming we don’t get a lava lamp effect, the water would mix as it trys to return to the surface. This means that to acheive cooling at the surface, it would requre cooling the entre depth to about a few hundred feet down.
I’d like to see that happen. A big Ha HA to them.
Oh Ya…. the best way to cool the surface temperature is to… you guessed it. Make a hurricane:
And shouldn’t the WWF be a little toasted on this one, after all, hurricanes deposit essential nutrients in their paths by flooding wetlands…

July 12, 2009 6:53 pm

While hurricanes do a lot of damage to human structures, many farmers and much of nature farther inland depends on the moisture those storms bring. Shutting down hurricanes could lead to extended droughts in the Southeastern US.

July 12, 2009 6:58 pm

Here’s the 2007 version:
here’s 2005’s:
here’s Stormfury that ran from 1962 to 83
and here’s a summary of a couple before that. Thanks to Bill for 2009’s version. I will be waiting with bated breath for the version to follow…

July 12, 2009 7:01 pm

As best I can figure out this pump, it relies on waves to fill the barge to level 140 above mean sea level 145, and this is the head of water that will pump warm surface water down to the cool ocean depths. So it relies on the sea being fairly rough. In a flat calm, it won’t pump anything at all. It will only really do any pumping during stormy weather. i.e. while a hurricane is passing overhead.
So this looks like a really good way of closing the stable door after the horse has bolted.

David L. Hagen
July 12, 2009 7:02 pm

Before getting too carried away with ad hominem attacks, perhaps we should examine the questions:
1) Is the science sound?
2) Are the economics sound?
1) On hurricane-ocean temperatures, numerous papers are modeling the issue of hurricanes related to higher surface temperatures. So that is a serious scientific issue. Yablonsky and Ginis address the Limitation of One-Dimensional Ocean Models for Coupled Hurricane-Ocean Model Forecasts
Mon. Wea. Rev, 2009 – They find that 1D models seriously underestimate the ocean upwelling and mixing caused by hurricanes compared with full 3D coupled models. (That raises a separate side question of the degree of error in global climate models caused by such 1D approximations.)
2) With billion dollar losses from hurricanes, the economics and probabilities of reducing hurricane losses should be worth seriously exploring (regardless of global warming projections.) There is a huge difference between reducing hurricane intensity and “stopping” hurricanes.
The article on Lovelock’s proposal for artificial ocean upwelling to control climate overlooks the major benefit that the algae would create a major boom in ocean fisheries.
e.g. Ouchi et al. reviewed Recent Advances of Ocean Nutrient Enhancer “TAKUMI” Project Proc 6th ISOPE Ocean Mining Symp, 2005 –

Ted D.
July 12, 2009 7:03 pm

If a volume of water is displaced by a wave into a container, the container being buoyant, the extra weight of this water should push the container down, displacing the same amount of water, making the effective head of the contained water zero – thereby rendering the pumping effect null?
And when the ship rides up on the next swell – by their thinking – the water would go the opposite direction – up?
Unless of course the ships are mounted on towers reaching to the ocean bottom, eliminating the buoyancy problem…. hey are those oil rigs still for rent?

July 12, 2009 7:04 pm

Real Clueless: It’s gonna be bitch-ass cold for a decade or more.
“We hypothesize that the established pre-1998 trend is the true forced warming signal, and that the climate system effectively overshot this signal in response to the 1997/98 El Niño. This overshoot is in the process of radiatively dissipating, and the climate will return to its earlier defined, greenhouse gas-forced warming signal. If this hypothesis is correct, the era of consistent record-breaking global mean temperatures will not resume until roughly 2020.”
This is not a test. We repeat, this is a not test of your emergency broadcast system. Like it was last time.

Tom in Florida
July 12, 2009 7:10 pm

This idea is lamer than, well, just about every stupid idea I have ever heard.
1. The only storms that form in the Gulf are early in the season. Most form in the Carribbean and the Atlantic so what about those?
2. This scheme shows a true misunderstanding of the volume of water in the Gulf not to mention the current flow from the Carribbean and Florida Straits.
3. As mentioned above, we need storms to replenish aquifers and lakes.
4. Hurricanes are huge heat transfer machines that the Earth requires to maintain balance.
5. It’s not nice to fool with Mother Nature.

July 12, 2009 7:11 pm

Here’s the link to the last one I mentioned:

July 12, 2009 7:21 pm

There was a saying back in the ’60s that applies to today:
“To the rest of the world, the United States must look like an insane asylum where the inmates have taken over.”

D. Cohen
July 12, 2009 7:31 pm

I know where this idea comes from. Having read the National Hurricane Center’s weather descriptions during past hurricane seasons, I know that they often comment about how a Hurricane passing over a stretch of ocean churns up the water, cooling off the surface layers and making that area of ocean less likely to fuel another strong storm. So, let’s make the assumption — a very big assumption — that this idea can be made to work. We in effect use lots of boats and pumps to replace the action of that first hurricane. Then, as no storms form, those boats will spread the sun’s heat further and further down into the ocean until even deep water is pretty warm. The system becomes more unstable until … oops … we have strong hurricane after strong hurricane forming over the same stretch of ocean because the churning effect of the first Hurricane no longer brings up enough cold water to suppress subsequent storms. Maybe this idea needs a little more thought…

July 12, 2009 7:32 pm

One of the things plaguing the rich is fear. It torments them. Bill Gates succeeded by directing some of his fears to desroy threats.
How much energy does he want to burn to do this? Since they claim is is warming, he could just toss a tow line to the 50 mile chunk of ice they say is breaking free in antartica and drag it up there. Ice floats. To cut the CO2, he could put a lot of masts and sails on the ice sheets and sail them up there. Use some wind towers. They would make for stout spars. Plan b is to build a canal and direct the ice that flooded and moved north southward to the Mississippi. Winnepeg would be happy.

D. King
July 12, 2009 7:38 pm

Yeah Dude, we’ll get some like really, really big tubes!

Ron de Haan
July 12, 2009 7:44 pm

We don’t need any pumps to cool the climate…
Sunday, July 12, 2009
The U.S. Weather Service Says…
By Alan Caruba
Below is a recent post by the U.S. Weather Service. I have added some boldface to elements of the text.
· Due to the unusually cool and wet conditions in June…here are some interesting facts to note:
· This June is tied for the 8th coolest on record. The average temperature was 67.5. (That’s) 3.7 degrees below normal…which also occurred in 1897.
· This was the coolest June since 1958…when the average temperature as 67.2 degrees.
· Below average temperatures occurred on 23 out of 30 days this June…or 75 percent of the month
· Central Park has not hit 90 degrees in the month of June this year. The last time this occurred was back in 1996.
· Central Park has not hit 85 degrees in the month of June this year. The last time this occurred was back in 1916. This has only occurred two other times…1903 and 1886.
· The low temperature dipped below 60 degrees eleven times in the month of June. The last time this occurred was in 2003 when it occurred seventeen times.
· It was the second wettest June on record with 10.06 inches of rain. The wettest June on record is 2003 with 10.27 inches.
· There were 19 days this June where there was at least 0.01 inches of rainfall. This has never occurred in Central Park.
One month does not a climate cycle make, but when one considers that the Earth has been cooling since 1998, it is a snapshot of things to come. Given the recent effort by the Environmental Protection Agency to silence one of its analysts whose report debunked the entire rational for the “Cap-and-Trade” bill passed by the House, it is amazing that the U.S. Weather Service is being permitted by the Stalinist Obama administration to actually report some “interesting facts” that demonstrate that the weather for the U.S. is cooling, not warming.
Now let it be said there is a difference between “weather” and “climate.” The weather, no matter where you are on planet Earth is what is happening in a particular place at a particular time.
The climate is measured in decades and in centuries. Clear trends emerge and they are given names like “ice ages” and the past is broken down in a variety of ages from the Paleozoic era to the Cenozoic, to the Mesozoic, the latter including Cretaceous, Jurassic, Triassic, Permian, Pennsylvanian, and Mississippian. We are currently in the Holocene era, dating from about 10,000 years ago.
Human civilization such as we know it—cities, agriculture, trade—didn’t show up until 5,000 years ago. Suffice it to say this was long before the Industrial Revolution which the Greens blame for a warming that is not happening.
The cooling being seen now reflects the way that, from around 1300 to 1850, much of Europe and North America suffered through a mini-ice age.
Simple logic and common sense suggests, given the very low sunspot activity of late, that we are headed into a similar climate cycle and the low temperatures in June, not seen since as far back as 1867 and 1903 appear to confirm this.
This is why a Cap-and-Trade bill whose alleged purpose is to reduce carbon dioxide emissions, blamed for “global warming”, is a complete and total fraud.
Any Congress that passes this law and any President who signs it is engaged is treasonous behavior because it is a massive tax on the use of energy, the single most essential factor for the revival of our failing economy.
From Warning Signs, Alan Garuba,

Douglas DC
July 12, 2009 7:50 pm

I have an idea! Don’t build in hurricane prone areas.If you must make sure your structure is strong enough to withstand the problems associated with a Hurricane.
I used to live on the southern Oregon coast. 75 mph+ was a moderate winter storm.
I lived on a bluff about 1/2 mile from the Ocean,I will never live there again. One storm had breakers in the Lagoon between my home and the Ocean.I’ll pu tup with summer thunderstorms and winter snows in NE Oregon any day…

Patrick Davis
July 12, 2009 7:51 pm

Microsoft “Bloatware” Hurricane Prevention Program v1.0. How many versions will it take to get one that actually works? If we use Windows as an example, many.
I understand the source of winds which leads to the formation hurricanes in the Gulf originate over east Africa.

Joel Shore
July 12, 2009 7:53 pm

neill says:

Real Clueless: It’s gonna be bitch-ass cold for a decade or more.

I think it takes a bit of work to go from a pause in the warming to “bitch ass cold”. If the prediction of Swanson et al. is correct, the global temperatures will still remain around the historically high levels they have been at over the past ~10 years…and then will resume an upward trend around 2020.
It is also worth noting that this is a guest post at RealClimate, not a prediction by the site’s authors themselves. I presume this means that they find it at least reasonable and plausible enough to merit a discussion but I don’t think it constitutes an endorsement of the conclusions.

Graeme Rodaughan
July 12, 2009 7:59 pm

Say this whole scheme gets implemented…
An a Hurricane gets through the “defensive screen” and does a “Katrina” on some hapless burg.
Who get’s sued?

July 12, 2009 8:05 pm

Tell me how these vessels will reduce the total heat flow into the ocean?
All they are doing is making the heat flow more efficient by exposing cooler water to warm water AND cold water to the warm air.
It is the depth of the hot water that drives hurricanes, not SSTs. Its TOTAL heat available.

Jimmy Haigh
July 12, 2009 8:09 pm

Just proves that you don’t need brains to make money.

July 12, 2009 8:09 pm

Joel, me boy. You didn’t answer my earlier question on another thread, and instead you came here to defend UnRealClimate. That is a hopeless cause.
But I think that you really, truly believe in CO2=AGW. I don’t think you’re saying what you don’t believe. I respect the fact that you’re purveying what you believe to be real.
But these folks also believed in what they believed in: click
Do you see the similarity between them and you? It’s there, in spades.

July 12, 2009 8:12 pm

Squidly (18:47:24) : Other way around-dust reflects sunlight and cools the surface waters, generally but not completely having the opposite effect on hurricanes. That’s why Sahel rainfall behaves much like the AMO-Atlantic temperature variability has a lot to do with variation in dust from the Sahara.
BUT everyone seems to think that suppressing hurricanes is desirable-not necessarily. The biosphere NEEDS that precipitation. So hurricanes aren’t all bad. Moreover, the are an important part of heat dissipation from the tropics. Hurricanes exist for a reason. THEY AREN’T BAD-they just are.

John F. Hultquist
July 12, 2009 8:14 pm

Tropical cyclones result from several factors. One is the Coriolis Effect from the fact that Earth rotates. The ‘plan’ does not suggest altering this. A second is the imbalance of the energy in the Tropics compared to the amount pole-ward. As a tropical cyclone forms and moves into mid-latitudes energy is redistributed involving both atmosphere and ocean. Assuming this process could be shut down or substantially reduced the energy would be redistributed in some other, unknown, process or it would have to accumulate in the tropical atmosphere and/or ocean –the ‘plan’ seems to be attempt to place it a few hundred feet down in the ocean.
Then we wait. How will Earth compensate?

Jimmy Haigh
July 12, 2009 8:17 pm

Meanwhile…. Still no sunspots….

July 12, 2009 8:19 pm

You might call this kind of patent ‘Idea Squatting’. They have no intention of building the ships. They want to charge royalties should anyone build similar ships in the future.
Most people don’t realize how easy and cheap it is to file a US patent.
I have one, but unfortunately don’t have Bill Gates money to hire the lawyers to try and extract royalties from the companies infringing on my patent.

July 12, 2009 8:21 pm

They should call a gentle eccentric, Patrick Cyclonebuster. He has a more fun idea.
Neither will actually work.
Giant siphons, anchored tubes, etc, etc. are all junk.
That Gates is falling for it does not speak well for his due diligence advisors.

smallz79(Brandon Sheffield)
July 12, 2009 8:25 pm

I read about this idea a few years ago. Sounds like they will have to put thousands if not more in the water for it to possibly work. When I read about it they said it would only cool the surface by a degree maybe two and that it would not stop hurricanes only make them less severe. Go figure.. bill Gates would jump on the band wagon.
OT. I was at medical on base waiting to have my blood drawn, they had BBC on the waiting area TV BBC announced that Peru is freezing people to death. Ont the TV they also (you guessed it) attributed it to “Global Warming”.? HUH, how does that work Warming = Cooling. I started laughing out loud and said they were crazy. Only 1 person out of 13 in the waiting room was upset at my skeptic reaction. This was so bogus that that we were able to get the channel changed to a hunting show. That one person was even more upset with that. I was about to engage the person about why she thinks global warming is really a threat, but realised she was 2 ranks below me. In the military we can not discuss such matters unless we are the same ranks and understand that we are not trying to debate each other rather just voice our opinions. Also at the same time my was called to see the Doc. Bummer.

smallz79(Brandon Sheffield)
July 12, 2009 8:27 pm

OHH, this is the article I found on the Web about it.
Peru cold snap kills 250 kids
Posted 1 hour 10 minutes ago
Updated 1 hour 11 minutes ago
An extreme spell of cold weather in Peru has killed almost 250 children under the age of five in the past four months.
Serious respiratory infections and pneumonia are not uncommon in the winter months, but this year’s cold season began in March rather than June.
The extreme cold has brought snow, hail, freezing temperatures and strong winds, and has killed more children than recorded annually for the past four years.
Two hundred and forty-six children under the age of five have died so far, only halfway through the winter months.
One third of the deaths were registered in the southern region of Puno, much of which is covered by a high plateau known as the Altiplano, which extends into neighbouring Bolivia.
Experts blame climate change for the early arrival of intense cold, which began in March, even though winter in the region does not usually begin until June.

July 12, 2009 8:29 pm

I am a “liberal” not a “conservative”. Conservatives want those who are “productive” to enjoy the fruits of their creativity, inventiveness, and smarts. In other words they should never have an upper limit on their incomes such that they must pay their workers living wages and such that they must pay their taxes for the largesse that always comes their way from government (lobbyists, et al). (Just take a look at the first corporations in the U.S., the railroads, and you can see the inevitability.) Bill (and Warren) should never be so rich that they can imagine global government or halting hurricanes. Guess who gave us BHO? These same wealthy guys who imagine global government — with all taxes going to their enterprises. Stupid. Stupid. Let’s change it.

July 12, 2009 8:30 pm

And BTW, US patents never get rejected because the ideas behind them are harebrained and unworkable (as this one appears to be). The European patent system is a bit more rigorous.
The current US patent system is little more than a make-work scheme for lawyers. Which probably explains why no one is interested in fixing it.
But I go OT for this blog.

July 12, 2009 8:40 pm

Jeez. The world has gone mad. This is one of the stupidest ideas I’ve ever heard. If the idea itself isn’t stupid enough, see the quote: “‘Such an approach may fail, perhaps on engineering or economic grounds’, they say, adding that the effects on the acidity of the ocean also have to be factored in.”
/sarcon Oh, yeah, sure, it may fail on engineering or economic grounds, yeah. But other than that, it’s SUCH a jolly good, really super, nifty-neato, simply wizard, whiz-bang idea. And that’s what counts, right? /sarcoff
Yes, Ted D. (19:03:56), the added water taken in will cause the container to sink instead of pushing water down the standpipe. The idea is brainless, ignorant Gaia-worshipping, green Cargo Cult drivel.

July 12, 2009 8:42 pm

Bill Gates is going down the same road as T Boone Pickens: getting into something he doesn’t understand. It’s hubris.
The operable phrase here is “Stick with what you know.” Pickens is still making money on Mesa Petroleum, and Gates is still making money on Microsoft. “Shoemaker, stick to thine last.”
T-Bone Pickens will lose into the hundreds of $millions because of his ill-advised foray into wind power. Now he’s on the hook to GE for over a $billion.
Gates will have the same problems spending a fortune to stop hurricanes from happening that Pickens had with wind power. Doesn’t Bill Gates understand the Second Law of Thermodynamics? Hurricanes have to happen. Assuming for a moment that they can really be stopped, there will be side effects that cause other cascade effects — and they will involve an equal amount of energy. We can not predict what those effects will be.
Isn’t the best answer to look for areas where you can make a big difference? To look for a substantial return on your investment?
Bill Gates had a great idea in providing vaccinations to millions of kids in Africa. By doing that he’s saved countless lives. Bill should look for opportunities like that, where there is a real return, rather than rolling the dice on his Superman proposal to stop hurricanes.

J Sumrall
July 12, 2009 8:44 pm

It’s not nice to fool Mother Nature. Following through with this idea, if it worked, would be extremely foolish resulting in severe environmental damage. It would be truely the definition of man made climate change. If people don’t like the property damage caused by hurricane they should build better structures or get out of the way.

July 12, 2009 8:47 pm

“Experts blame climate change for the early arrival of intense cold”
Interesting. They didn’t blame HUMAN CAUSED climate change … just “climate change”. Climate always changes.

Leon Brozyna
July 12, 2009 8:52 pm

Rainmakers and snakeoil salesmen — who’s more delusional — those making the pitch or those buying into it? This has unintended consequences written all over it. What happens if it causes a hurricane to veer in its path? Or it weakens the storm to the point that it stalls after making landfall, resulting in massive flooding? Wouldn’t it be cheaper to upgrade building codes and limit beachfront development? Once again, presumptive arrogance rears its ugly head.

July 12, 2009 9:00 pm

Stop hurricanes? What about all the beneficial rain that these weather systems bring to farming throughout the South Eastern states? Oh, and what kind of superstorm will brew after a few years of Gates’ hurricane suppression (assuming it works)?

July 12, 2009 9:08 pm

Bill forgot to ask the most important question before cooking up this idea:
Should we be doing this?
The answer is NO.
All the hype of man-made climate change and here he goes wanting to do exactly that….interfere with the climate.
Apparently, some folks didn’t learn a thing from the Hurricane Seeding project.
Didn’t look, didn’t think, didn’t ask.

July 12, 2009 9:10 pm

Leon Brozyna (20:52:46)
There is precedent for exactly the ‘uninended consequences’ you are thinking of. Bill was too busy making $$$ to notice Hurricane Seeding.

July 12, 2009 9:17 pm

The environmental resources that will be required to draft and defend the environmental impact statement for this project will probably be sufficient to put us over any nearby tipping points. There may be a new need for an environmental impact statement for the environmental impact statement…

July 12, 2009 9:17 pm

Ted D. (19:03:56) : Obviously the container has to be buoyant, or attached to a ship or barge, so the device stays at sea level rather than sinking.
I’m sure that this device can convert wave motion into water being forced down. But I don’t know how much heat would be released near the surface rather than into deep water (will there be much shallow cooling?), I haven’t done the math to compare the amount of water in waves to the near-surface flow (thus how many pumps are needed), and we don’t know the other effects of stirring things up.
There also is a limit to how many of these passive pumps can be placed in an area, as upwind wave catchers will starve the downwind catchers.

July 12, 2009 9:20 pm

Thirty or so years ago, a scientist who studies the impact of hurricanes on structures said it was madness to build on barrier islands and low-lying shorelines. John Stossel had a beach house on the Atlantic coast damaged by a storm. He was eligible for some of your tax money to repair his house so the next storm could damage or destroy it. Just another well thought-out gov. program in action.

July 12, 2009 9:22 pm

My issue with this is manifold. What are the longer term effects of altering ocean surface temps? Does he have to file an EIS each time he intends on deploying such a system? If not, why not? What’s his pump system energized by, and does it have a carbon footprint? (mustn’t make the overall problem worse, right?)
Next, that energy is going to have to show up somewhere – what are the effects?
There is so much that we don’t know, and when people monkey with systems that they only superficially understand, the law of unintended consequences comes along and really bites us all in the ….butt.
Finally, why the heck would I pay for Gates to perfrom this kind of public service?

July 12, 2009 9:28 pm

I’m a liberal, am fairly certain that humans are having a significant (and dangerous) effect on global climate, and look on the near future of humanity and Earth with a distinctly worried eye. In other words, I’ve not exactly much in common with most of the posters here, and I’m sure a lot of you are convinced that I and others with my views are crazy and/or evil.
But on this subject, at least, I pretty much agree with most of what’s been said, barring the talk of “if the water sloshes up above sea level, the whole fixture will sink” (C’mon, give the propounders of this idea a little credit! No one’s stupid enough to overlook that. No doubt the pumps would be held up above the water level in some way, either by leg reaching down to the sea floor or perhaps floats at their sides). But even supposing the idea were to work (and again, I’m sure these people aren’t brain-dead. I’d expect that they could come up with a roughly accurate estimate of how many pumps would be needed to actually make a difference to surface temperatures), there would be a lot of nasty side effects that might overwhelm the very great benefit of avoiding future Katrinas, Andrews, and Galvestons (old Galveston strike, not the recent one).
There’d probably be ecological issues aplenty, as many posters have mentioned; while I could be wrong, seems like any shift in surface temperatures great enough to hobble a hurricane would have a bevy of effects on sea life, as well, and also on land ecosystems that have evolved to deal with (and thrive on) hurricane strikes.
I’m more worried, though (and if you must, you can just label me a crackpot or some more extreme epithet now and stop reading–do as you please), about the climatic effects of this. Currently, when hurricanes roar through the gulf they suck heat out of the ocean and pump it into the atmosphere, where eventually some of that heat can dissipate into space; they’re gigantic, natural heat pumps, and were there no hurricanes global warming would probably be accelerating faster than it is now.
But with this idea, though…Well, not only would that result in less heat leaving the oceans and, eventually, the planet itself, but it would also have the nasty effect of pumping heat into the colder depths of the gulf that otherwise would have been warmed much more slowly. And, of course, quite apart from the more rapid transfer of heat from the atmosphere to the ocean, there’s the issue of what all that heat might DO down there…I’m sure some of you are familiar with methane clathrate deposits, and the clathrate gun hypothesis. While I certainly wouldn’t anticipate anything like enough heat transfer to cause some sort of dramatic, catastrophic release of methane from the floor of the Gulf…better safe than sorry. We do NOT want to be heating those things.

July 12, 2009 9:33 pm

Well… I actually get worried when I read stories like this… People get freaked out when adding a little CO2 to the air but I start getting worried when people start actually changing the why eco-systems and normal current flows of heat. The scary thing may be that it would work. Scary because then it may actually cause a very different issue then the one we have currently… Sooner or latter their (heat sink? ) the deeper water would warm up… I suppose it may work so long as the heat was still allowed to leave some way, but it feels like this would actually purposefully cause global warming… I mean water vapor holds onto heat a little but if I am not mistake water as a liquid holds heat really well… Just saying I don’t think this is a great idea… But I may well be jumping at shadows here.

Richard deSousa
July 12, 2009 9:34 pm

I wish Gates would throw some of that money at me rather than the hair brain scheme he’s cooked up to mitigate hurricanes. He’s throwing money down a huge rat hole. Do the physic’s, Bill, it’ll never work.

Walt Stone
July 12, 2009 9:35 pm

I’m REALLY surprised that this idea of Gates’ wasn’t recognized in this thread (so far) as simply a version of the OTEC, now being worked on by Lockheed Martin
where the heat differential between the cold and warm waters fuels a power plant. The guy in the video linked above claims Lockheed will have a 10mw plant in a couple of years ( I think the US govt has/had a test plant in Hawaii) with 100mw plants to follow.
The idea of using the heat differential of the ocean has been around since the 1880s. If we had four or five dozen of the 100mw plants in the Gulf of Mexico (yes, they wouldn’t be as efficient as ones with cooler source water in deeper trench areas) I could see an actual (eventual) change in surface temperature. (Like wind farms on calm days, Gulf of Mexico OTEC plants would have a hard slog working in the winter)
I’d much rather be setting up plants to manufacture electricity/hydrogen than investing in a plant that doesn’t really DO anything.

July 12, 2009 9:39 pm

Just one thing indeed “Unintended consequences”. Stopping huricanes wich are natures great heat exchangers might be a silly idea but i like to think a step ahead, what if they go ahead and construct those vessel 100’s.
Building capacity? Resources? CO2 emissions wich are going to be massive on this project? The damage from onshore and offshore activities? To name a few, this will not go well with “Gang Green”.
And then, will it work or are the intended consequences worse than the solution it should bring?

D. King
July 12, 2009 9:50 pm

Ronan (21:28:57) :
Scale Ronan, scale. Do you really think we could create or stop this.

July 12, 2009 9:50 pm

Two words: “tax write-off.”

July 12, 2009 9:52 pm

Wow. I have this great idea. DON’T DO THIS!!
Hurricanes release energy, and to my layman’s mind, this is the equivalent of sticking a potato in the Earth’s tailpipe, so to speak.

July 12, 2009 9:53 pm

Also, I am currently downloading update after update, and I just have this funny vision of the Weather Channel tracking a hurricane that suddenly turns into the blue screen of death.

Jeff L
July 12, 2009 9:54 pm

He needs to 1st improve his companies products before he goes & solves the world’s “problems”, IMHO

Paul R
July 12, 2009 9:57 pm

It will all be run using Window’s Vista, It will never happen.
Windows has encountered a problem with application mega pumps of mercy and needs to close.
Close program y/n
Program is not responding

Mike Bryant
July 12, 2009 10:05 pm

We have officially entered into the twilight zone. It seems that anyone may now confidently believe in anything whatsoever, as long as there is money in it for them.
Science has become the servant of monied interests, whether government money or private. Tell us what you want the truth to be and we will do the appropriate studies. They’re all in it together. Too bad that we are the ones holding the bill…

July 12, 2009 10:07 pm

In an interesting chapter entitled Engineers Dreams from his book” Infinite in all directions”, Freeman Dyson explains the reasons for the failings of Von Neumann and his team for the prediction and control of Hurricanes.
Von Neumann’s dream
“As soon as we have good enough computers we will be able to divide the phenomena of meteorology cleanly into two categories, the stable and the unstable”, The unstable phenomena are those that are which are upset by small disturbances, and the stable phenomena are those that are resilient to small disturbances. All disturbances that are stable we will predict, all processes that are unstable we will control”
Freeman Dyson page 183
What went wrong? Why was Von Neumann’s dream such a total failure. The dream was based on a fundamental misunderstanding of the nature of fluid motions. It is not true that we can divide cleanly fluid motions into those that are predictable and those that are controllable. Nature as usual is more imaginative then we are. There is a large class of classical dynamic systems, including non-linear electrical circuits as well as fluids, which easily fall into a mode of behavior that is described by the word “chaotic” A chaotic motion is generally neither predictable nor controllable. It is unpredictable because a small disturbance will produce exponentially growing perturbation of the motion .It is uncontrollable because small disturbances lead only to other chaotic motions, and not to any stable and predictive alternative”

July 12, 2009 10:09 pm

Ronan (21:28:57) : “…on this subject, at least, I pretty much agree with most of what’s been said, barring the talk of ‘if the water sloshes up above sea level, the whole fixture will sink’ (C’mon, give the propounders of this idea a little credit! No one’s stupid enough to overlook that.”
A patent application must show all components and features necessary to make the invention work. The patent application in question has no way to prevent high internal water levels from causing the main tank to sink. Therefore, there are at least several people stupid enough to overlook such an important detail, just as there are people stupid enough to believe in AGW. (Even if the tank didn’t sink, the device still wouldn’t work. It is left to the student to determine the reason.)

July 12, 2009 10:20 pm

Oh, just great … NOT.
I wonder if they’ve given ~any~ thought —at all— as to how their plan will destroy an entire fishing industry in the Gulf area?
Outside that, the natural chain of events will be seriously disrupted by such manipulations.
Of course, you understand, what results of that egregious attempt at weather modification will be blamed on the rest of us.
Maybe a giant squid will swallow the filthy gringos?

Jimmy Haigh
July 12, 2009 10:34 pm

Ronan (21:28:57) :
Ronan – you are more than welcom here! We don’t get the chance to debate ‘climate’ here very often with rational beings such as yourself. Please hang around and join the debate – I’m sure that everyone here will benefit from your rational input.
I’m with you. How crazy is this idea? It’s up there with ‘let’s paint the Arctic ice black’.

July 12, 2009 10:37 pm

The idiocy of this proposal is overwhelming. I have trouble believing that Bill Gates really believes in it.
There are a number of sources on the web that estimate the energy released by the phase change of water vapor as it condenses and (perhaps) freezes in a thunderstorm. One thunderstorm (yes, only one) average size thunderstorm carries the energy equivalent to a 20 kiloton nuclear bomb up, through the bulk of the green house gasses, to 40,000 feet where it will radiate into space.
On the other hand, one hurricane releases some 6 X 10-14 watts per day, roughly equivalent to the entire world’s production of power. And that power is also carried up to where it can also radiate into space.
Bill Gates is sooooo trivial when compared to nature’s forces.
But, then, on the other hand, there is “T” Boone Pickens. His plan called for some 1,200 SQUARE MILES of wind farm.
The local rumors around Texas have it that his plan had nothing at all to do with wind power and everything to do with water. There is a vagary in Texas law that came into being a few years ago as if by magic. The law allows that if there is a power line right of way, then a water pipe line can also be laid in that right of way. It seems (and it may be true!) that the plan was to put in some wind turbines and get the Texas tax payer to buy the right of way and build the transmission towers. Yes, there would be some green power, but it would be nothing compared to the value of the water.
I would have a lot more respect for “T” Boone if the rumors are true.
As for Silly Billy Gates? Maybe there is something afoot like “T” Boone’s plan, or perhaps he is just hustling the rubes that will believe that drivel. Just like Al Gore.
It would disappoint me if Silly Billy believed his own press.
Steamboat Jack

Kevin Schurig
July 12, 2009 10:59 pm

“Mr. Burns” from the “The Simpsons” was mentioned in part of the article. But I imagine it is more like “Brewster’s Millions.” Some idiot walks up to a geek with a ton or two of cash and pitches this idea to “save” the Gulf Coast. Now this money infused geek thinks that he can change the world because when he speaks, people listen. So here is his chance to sign on to something that could really shake the world. Now being a technology geek, show him some nicely drawn plans and he gets all slobbery and has an instant craving for Hot Pockets. Furthermore he is not expected to plop down anymore than initially requested. Not bad he thinks. So he does it, and in return is ridiculed as the fool that he is. Before this I had no idea whether or not he believes in AGW, but now it is obvious. Anyone who would invest any type of money in a hair-brained scheme such as this, expecting to actually change weather patterns, is foolish enough to believe in AGW. Further proof that money does not infer intelligence.

July 12, 2009 11:04 pm

(How to keep a billionaire busy):
Bill – try this idea: Do away with the Panama Canal locks and just deepen and widen the canal to allow the Pacific Ocean to directly flow into the gulf. (I believe it is a few feet higher than the gulf.) In time, that ought to change the world’s currents – but who knows how?!
Another idea: Determine the height on lever arms at each of the earth’s axial poles; the amount of thrust needed for giant, rotating turbines constantly opposing the earth’s axial tilt; and the amount of time & $$$ to straighten up the earth’s axial tilt from 23.44 degrees to 0 degrees. Of course that might actually cause global warming, so try tilting it more – to say, 30 degrees!

July 12, 2009 11:07 pm

With Bill on board, the ship’s pump control systems will be fiendishly complicated, the pumps will run at half the expected speed, and a message will regularly appear on the bridge monitor informing the captain that:
“Your application has performed an unexpected violation and will be shut down.”
At this point, the ship will have to return to port, and everyone on board will have to disembark before the ship’s engines and systems can be restarted.

Dave Wendt
July 12, 2009 11:09 pm

As I read the patent description the system’s sole function is to pump warm water from the surface down below the thermocline with no mechanism for returning cold water from depth to the surface.
This cycle will be continuous in bringing warm surface ocean water to great depth as ocean waves continue to input water into tub 130. If many of vessel 100 are distributed throughout a region of water, the temperature of the surface of the water may be altered.
With wave action providing the only filling mechanism and no cold water brought to the surface it’s hard to envision this scheme having a meaningful affect on surface temps, let alone any passing hurricanes. Given the obvious potential disrupting the Gulf ecosystem, it’s hard to imagine the plan would survive the gauntlet of ecolawyers, even if enough politicians could be bought off to clear the regulatory hurdles.
Maybe I should dig out my plan to wrangle calving icebergs with ocean going tugs, beach them on the African coast, and use the melt water to irrigate the deserts into new greenspace. Sounds like the kind of thing that would be right up Bill’s alley. I even had a nice biotech aspect to my plan since the trees we’d be growing in the desert would be genetically engineered California Redwoods that would reach mature size in about 25% of normal time, the better to sequester all that CO2, don’t ya know. Of course, my plan doesn’t have any potential as an insurance shakedown, so Bill might not find it as lucrative as this beauty.

July 12, 2009 11:22 pm

Sounds like a WIN-WIN situation to me.
He KNOWS the seas are cooling and cooler seas equals less huricanes.
He takes the kudus.

p.g.sharrow "PG"
July 12, 2009 11:27 pm

As a patented inventor I can see this is an application to act as a bookmark for the idea and not a well thought out invention. For bill gates and co. this is a legal angle to sue for royalities from anyone that tries to manage hurricanes, go back and read the application, it’s about hurricane management and not the device that manages the job.
Remember Gates is a troll not a real inventor.

Brandon Dobson
July 12, 2009 11:28 pm

The suppression of Carlin’s report is the final nail in the AGW coffin. The Cnet News article “E-mails indicate EPA suppressed report skeptical of global warming” notes the following:
“Carlin’s report listed a number of recent developments he said the EPA did not consider, including that global temperatures have declined for 11 years; that new research predicts Atlantic hurricanes will be unaffected; that there’s “little evidence” that Greenland is shedding ice at expected levels; and that solar radiation has the largest single effect on the earth’s temperature.”
Here’s a link to an updated graph of global temperatures:
One can see that temperatures have declined since 1998, with a particularly sharp decline since 2007. At the very least, it can be said that global warming has stopped for the last 11 years. If warmists insist that longer time scales must be referenced, then it becomes a natural rebound since the last Ice Age, so that argument has no merit. Beware of graphs that have the right side truncated to conceal the cooling trend.
Turning to the matter of hurricanes, Google Scholar yields studies questioning the mythical hurricane-global warming link, which was spawned by the media’s obsession with Katrina. In “An explanation for the lack of trend in the hurricane frequency” ,
By Author Rasmus E. Benestad of the Norwegian Meteorological Institute, notes
“Goldenberg et al. posed the question whether the increased activity was due to long-term global warming or a result of natural variability, but concluded that the latter was the most likely explanation.” and “Furthermore, a systematic change in the total number of TC (tropical cyclones) has not yet been established and a lack of trend may seem contrary to expectations given a general warming trend.” Also, “Global climate models (GCMs) provide an important tool for making future climate scenarios, but these do not yet have a sufficient spatial resolution or a representation of the physical processes within the storm to give accurate results”, concluding that “These results furthermore suggest that there may be a non-linear relationship between the area of high SST (sea surface temperatures) and the number of TCs, which can explain why there has not yet been a clear upward trend in the number of Tcs.”
by BY R. A. PIELKE JR., C. LANDSEA., M. MAYFIELD, J. LAVER, AND R. PASCH, the conclusion is “To summarize, claims of link-ages between global warming and hurricane impacts are premature for three reasons. First, no connection has been established between greenhouse gas emissions and the observed behavior of hurricanes (Houghton et al. 2001; Walsh 2004. Second, the peer-reviewed literature reflects that a scientific consensus exists that any future changes in hurricane intensities will likely be small in the context of observed variability (Knutson and Tuleya 2004; Henderson-Sellers et al. 1998), while the scientific problem of tropical cyclogenesis is so far from being solved that little can be said about possible changes in frequency. And third, under the assumptions of the IPCC, expected future damages to society of its projected changes in the behavior of hurricanes are dwarfed by the influence of its own projections of growing wealth and population (Pielke et al. 2000).”
Concerning the alleged accelerated melting of Greenland, recent research brings to light the reality of the situation, at
“Now, from the fall meeting of the American Geophysical Union, comes word that Greenland’s Ice Armageddon has been called off.
Researchers reported in 2007 that two of the area’s major outlet glaciers—Helheim and Kangerdlugssuaq—had slowed significantly by the summer of 2006. Then at the 2009 AGU meeting, glaciologist Tavi Murray and ten of her colleagues from Swansea University in the United Kingdom reported the results from their 2007 and 2008 surveys.
“It has come to an end,” Murray said during a session at the meeting. “There seems to have been a synchronous switch-off ” of the speed-up, she said. Based on the shape and appearance of the 14 largest outlet glaciers in southeast Greenland, outlet glacier flows have returned to the levels of 2000 nearly everywhere. “There’s a pattern of speeding up to maximum velocity and then slowing down since 2005,” Murray reported. “It’s amazing; they sped up and slowed down together. They’re not in runaway acceleration.”
Glacial modeler Faezeh Nick of Durham University in the UK and her colleagues found similar behavior when they modeled the flow of Helheim Glacier. In their model, as they report recently in Nature Geoscience, Helheim’s flow is extremely sensitive to disturbances at its margin but can quickly adjust. “Our results imply that the recent rates of mass loss in Greenland’s outlet glaciers are transient,” the group writes, “and should not be extrapolated into the future.””
The effects of solar radiation on Earth’s climate have been misunderstood, underestimated, and over simplified by proponents of anthropogenic global warming. As noted in the abstract of “Sun and planets from a climate point of view”
By J. Beer, J. A. Abreu and F. Steinhilber:
“The solar electromagnetic radiation received by a planet is very unevenly distributed on the dayside of the planet. The climate tries to equilibrate the system by transporting energy through the atmosphere and the oceans provided they exist. These quasi steady state conditions are continuously disturbed by a variety of processes and effects.” and “On a planet, many factors determine how much of the arriving energy enters the climate system and how it is distributed and ultimately reemitted back into space. On Earth, there is growing evidence that in the past solar variability played a significant role in climate change.”
From “On global forces of nature driving the Earth’s climate. Are humans involved? “
By L.F. Khilyuk and G.V. Chilingar, the abstract:
“The authors identify and describe the following global forces of nature driving the Earth’s climate: (1) solar radiation as a dominant external energy supplier to the Earth, (2) outgassing as a major supplier of gases to the World Ocean and the atmosphere, and, possibly, (3) microbial activities generating and consuming atmospheric gases at the interface of lithosphere and atmosphere. The writers provide quantitative estimates of the scope and extent of their corresponding effects on the Earth’s climate. Quantitative comparison of the scope and extent of the forces of nature and anthropogenic influences on the Earth’s climate is especially important at the time of broad-scale public debates on current global warming. The writers show that the human-induced climatic changes are negligible.”
What the warmists don’t want you to know is that even if solar radiation were constant, the amount absorbed or reflected back to space is highly variable.
In “Global warming due to increasing absorbed solar radiation”
Kevin E. Trenberth and John T. Fasullo, National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, Colorado, observe that any warming due to GHGs and water vapor is “offset to a large degree by a decreasing greenhouse effect from reducing cloud cover and increasing radiative emissions from higher temperatures. Instead the main warming from an energy budget standpoint comes from increases in absorbed solar radiation that stem directly from the decreasing cloud amounts. These findings underscore the need to ascertain the credibility of the model changes, especially insofar as changes in clouds are concerned.”
How about that Arctic ice? You’ve probably heard the warmists shrieking that the Northwest passage is open “for the first time in history”. It’s not true. The St. Roch, constructed of Douglas Fir, was the –
First vessel to sail the Northwest Passage from west to east (1940 – 1942)
First vessel to complete the Northwest Passage in one season (1944), also making it the first to use the more northerly, deeper route and to complete the Passage in both directions.
Actually, several vessels have negotiated the Northwest Passage over the years, even tourists and two guys in a catamaran, listed at:
The Encyclopedia of Earth documents the fact that sea ice has been highly variable for the past 100 years:
“However, sufficient data are available for portions of the North Atlantic region, based largely on historical ship reports and coastal observations, to permit sea iceal trend assessments over periods exceeding 100 years. Perhaps the best-known record is the Icelandic sea ice index, compiled by Thoroddsen[16] and Koch [17], with subsequent extensions (e.g., Ogilvie and Jonsson[18]). The index combines information on the annual duration of sea ice along the Icelandic coast and the length of coastline affected by sea ice. Figure 6.6 shows several periods of severe sea ice conditions, especially during the late 1800s and early 1900s, followed by a long interval (from about 1920 to the early 1960s) in which sea ice was virtually absent from Icelandic waters.”
The current Global Warming controversy is a perfect storm of many factors; a lack of historical perspective in natural climate variation combined with recent technological scrutiny, a lack of appreciation and ignorance of the many factors affecting climate, partisan politics, misguided ideology, unprofessional reporting by the media, the rise of urban heat effects, and sadly, deliberate manipulation of temperature data.

July 12, 2009 11:31 pm

I used to work in the for a Swiss multinational building big centrifugal pumps. The inside of a pump which has been shifting seawater for a few years looks like the surface of the moon, greatly reduced efficiency. Unless you make them out of Bronze, Stainless Steel or Monel.
Those insurance policies ain’t going to be cheap.
When we used to test a big pump, the resulting power drop dimmed the lights across a large section of the urban area our factory was in as the motor spun up. It takes a lot of energy to shift water, it weighs a kilogram per liter.
Assuming Bill isn’t planning on laying power cables from a wind farm out into the ocean to run these pumps, what power source is he going to use for them? Not fossil fuels shirley?
Concerned environMentalists think they should be told.
Big pumps and their driving motors get hot. What are they going to be cooled with Mr Burns? The cool water brought up from below the thermocline?

Richard Heg
July 12, 2009 11:35 pm

As others have said not a new idea,
“The idea is to tether millions of vertical pipes across the oceans to pump nutrient-rich deep water to the surface. These waters would fertilise the growth of algae, which in turn fix carbon dioxide. The pipes, reaching to depths of 200 metres, would have flap valves at the bottom operated by the energy of waves, which would push deep water up the pipe.”

July 12, 2009 11:37 pm

Summary so far:
1) Hurricanes are essential. They are MAJOR cooling engines, shutting them down or even reducing what naturallly forms would be detrimental to global climate.
2) Intentionally messing with climate when we truly do NOT understand everything about it is beyond evil, and should never be allowed, ever.
3) Bill Gates may be the world’s second wealthiest man, but he’s certainly not in the top 100 for intelligence.

Kum Dollison
July 12, 2009 11:40 pm

I think the next time a Hurricane form in the Gulf we ought to all go down there and drink some beer, and pee in the ocean.
Same results, cheaper, and a lot more fun.
Then we run like hades to see if we can “get out of town” before we Drown.

July 12, 2009 11:43 pm

I thought Bill Gates was on the right track investing in Sapphire Energy’s algae based biofuel, but controlling hurricanes?? Our climate could suffer the blue sky of death…
– This climate has encountered an unexpected error and needs to shut down. Ending climate now could result in loss of breathable atmosphere. End climate Y/N? –

Jimmy Haigh
July 12, 2009 11:46 pm

Let me put a number to it. ‘Global warming is happening twice – that is exactly twice – as fast as ……..
I give you: The Twin Peaks of Kilimanjaro!…

Mark Fawcett
July 12, 2009 11:47 pm

Marge: I’m worried about the kids, Homey. Lisa’s becoming very obsessive. This morning I caught her trying to dissect her own raincoat.
Homer: I know. And this perpetual-motion machine she made today is a joke. It just keeps going faster and faster.
Marge: And Bart isn’t doing very well either. He needs boundaries and structure. There’s something about flying a kite at night that’s so unwholesome.
[Looks out window]
Bart: [creepily] Hello, mother dear.
Marge: That’s it, we have to get them back to school.
Homer: I’m with you, Marge. Lisa. Get in here.
[Lisa walks in]
Homer: In this house, we obey the laws of thermodynamics.

July 13, 2009 12:03 am

I invented a gravity pump that uses the Moon to alter sea levels. Does anyone have Bill’s phone number? Because I am sure he would like to invest in it.

Michael Ells
July 13, 2009 12:17 am

What about detonating a cutter bomb in the eye of the hurricane? Would this have the ability of disrupting or shearing off the top of the storm? What about dropping tons of sand into the storm (since sand and dust blowing into the Atlantic from the Sahara desert has the effect of suppressing tropical storms)?
REPLY: same problem, the issue of scale anything we can muster is a flyspeck on an elephants butt scale-wise. – Anthony

July 13, 2009 12:22 am

Laughing over my cornflakes and OJ. I think Mr. Gates has been watching too many movies…

July 13, 2009 12:24 am

He is going to power them with these (Link to YouTube).

July 13, 2009 12:25 am

In a critical scene in the movie “groundhog day” the main character, played by Bill Murray, displays the ultimate in hubris, claiming the power to “make the weather”

Around the 5:45 mark.
It is this act which dooms him to live the same day over and over again, until he learns how to truly be of service to others. Just saying Mr. gates

July 13, 2009 12:28 am

Much sound and fury about…nothing. For the critics, note the patent drawing includes buoyancy tanks all around which can be flooded or ‘blown’ (using ordinary energy, as oppose to free energy like solar and wind.) Further, those tanks would allow the tank to be filled during calm- sink the sucker, fill it up, blow the tanks and viola! So far, so good…
Anonymoose touches on the key problem. The ‘descending’ column of water will dump heat as it falls into the surrounding, cooler ocean. Insulation will not cure this problem; no matter how efficient, insulation (other than a total vacuum) will always permit some heat transfer to the surrounding environment and it will eventually stabilize to a constant rate. Warm water reaching the bottom will no longer be warm. Going deeper doesn’t help.
At the same time, less dense warm water in the ‘tube’ is expected to force denser, colder water downwards? No, they will mix locally to an equillibrium temperature and the process will continue with the next lower stratum of temperature. At the bottom, nothing will happen. The temperature of the whole column in the tube will be the same as the outside. Rube Goldberg would have been proud of this “invention.”
If I recall correctly, my Physics 2 teacher summarized the first two laws of thermodynamics as: 1) You can’t win, and 2) You can’t stay even… something about entropy…

July 13, 2009 12:35 am

I’d be interested in your evidence for ‘accelerating global warming’.

Son of Mulder
July 13, 2009 12:35 am

And I’ve invented a little solar powered device with wind and wave backup that will switch them off and back on again when they don’t work. Where’s my money?

July 13, 2009 12:54 am

While we’re on the subject, someone above mentioned Panama. It’s too late at night to go look up the exact statistic, but if I recall, the difference between the Pacific and Atlantic Ocean levels at the isthmus is more like forty feet, due to the Earth’s rotation. Since the Earth turns eastwards, the Atlantic should be the higher side, no? Anyway, why not, using Tom Swift’s Atomic Earth Blaster, tunnel through the isthmus and harness the head to generate electricty? This would surely work and might make Panama energy independent or even a exporter to the neighbors in Costa Rica. Best of all, until the planet stops rotating, it would be inexhaustible. We’re not looking at all the natural possibilities!
Along similar lines, why not lay a pipe from the Sea of Cortez to the Salton Sea, taking advantage of a fifty foot head (a siphon would make excavation unnecessary) and generate enough electricity for the region? Stop when Palm Springs and Indio have beaches. Refilling the Salton Sea (a man-made feature to begin with) to sea level would also increase rainfall in SE California and Arizona. The San Andreas fault will do this eventually, anyway.
While we’re at it, why not fill the Dead Sea basin (Israel/Jordan) with water from the Red Sea. Here we have a 1000 foot head! End result: energy independence for both countries and a true border. And why not? Plate tectonics suggest it is going to happen eventually, anyway. Egypt has an even deeper basin west of the Nile which could be flooded from the Mediterranean with similar results. Why don’t people think?

Ed Zuiderwijk
July 13, 2009 1:26 am

This is lunacy, a sure sign that the GW religion will make otherwise reasonably intelligent people do totally idiotic things.
Pumping up water from the deep on a sufficiently large scale to have an effect implies mucking up the Caribean eco-system big time. It’s an ecological disaster in the making. Prepare yourself for problems with algae and dying fish on a gigantic scale. The GW doommongers may be right after all: that you can’t live on the coast there because of the stench of rotting fish and other gue. Only, it’ll be a disaster of their making.
Apart from that, Hurricanes occur because there’s too much heat stored in the waters which has to find an outlet. Burrying warm surface waters doesn’t dissipate that heat, only stores it somewhere else, thus piling up ever more energy to spawn some really monsters in the future.
If you live in Houston or New Orleans and Bill is going ahead: get out now.

July 13, 2009 1:28 am

timetochooseagain (20:12:59) :
Squidly (18:47:24) : Other way around-dust reflects sunlight and cools the surface waters, generally but not completely having the opposite effect on hurricanes. That’s why Sahel rainfall behaves much like the AMO-Atlantic temperature variability has a lot to do with variation in dust from the Sahara.

I will try to find the study for you (may have even been here at WUWT). I believe you are wrong as the study suggests that sand storms in the Western Sahara would seed storms that spin off of the coast. Has nothing to do with reflective sunlight and such, but EVERYTHING to do with cloud seeding.

July 13, 2009 1:40 am

Ten bucks says he worked it all out on a model:P What I want to know, is when its a collosal failure and all his boats are thrown inland by waves and wind.. who cleans up the mess?

Geoff Sherrington
July 13, 2009 1:42 am

AnonyMoose (18:31:48) : at 12 07
You got it in one.
It makes no difference wheter the apparatus as described is present or absent.

July 13, 2009 2:05 am

Just now SBS Australia has reported the Skeptic side (protesters outside Gore’s talk etc) not even mentioning anything about Gore’s AGW talk but the skeptic’s view that Gore’s AGW theories all unproven. This is quite extraordinary as both the ABC (Australia) and SBS have rigourously towed the AGW line.

July 13, 2009 2:06 am

So instead of a blue screen of death you would get a blue ocean of death.
Lots of these “invention” companies only manufacture what are known as submarine patents. They never actually produce anything tangible. Their hope is that somebody else will invent and manufacture something that infringes one of their patents. They can then sue and demand a piece of the pie.
They will never attempt to implement this patent, but should somebody else invest the time, research and money into making this or something along the same lines profitable then they will be knocking at the door demanding money.

Allan M
July 13, 2009 2:52 am

“When vessel 100 is deployed at sea, waves 135 may lap over the top of walls 110 to input warm (relative to deeper waters) surface ocean water into tub 130. Tub 130 will fill to a level 140 which is above the average ocean level depicted as level 145. Because of the difference between levels 140 and 145, a pressure head is created thereby pushing warm surface ocean water in a downward direction 150 down through conduit 125 to exit into the cold ocean depths (relative to near surface waters) through one or more openings 155.”
MEMO to all those trying to strip Bill Gates from his money:
But what the hell. Archimedes didn’t have Deep Black and a computer model. Max Escher rules, OK.

Atomic Hairdryer
July 13, 2009 2:57 am

I vote dual-use off-shore windfarms.
When climate conditions are favourable, let the wind blow and generate electricity. Charge greens a premium for this and claim subsidies. Bank any profits or tax deductions.
When climate conditions are less favourable, switch the turbines from suck to blow and blow those nasty winds back out to sea. Or just cool the surface. Maybe. Pay for the electricity needed from subsidies, insurance premiums etc etc and bank any profits or tax deductions.
Alternatively, use co-generating windfarms where ‘top up’ power is provided by compact and bijou naval reactors to cope with any lulls (or lolz).

July 13, 2009 3:06 am

I’m a liberal, and I’m sure a lot of you are convinced that I and others with my views are crazy and/or evil.
That’s how Liberals view people who disagree with them.
Speaking as someone on the Right side of the political fence, I view Liberals as mostly ignorant or intellectually lazy, and too prepared to buy into the mindless pap the media and the legion of special interests peddle.
Crazy and evil generally only exist in Hollywood movies. To view those who oppose you as crazy or evil means you have trouble separating fiction from reality.
And that is perhaps what separates liberals and conservatives. Liberals will buy into a good narrative without looking too closely at its veracity, especially if they believe everyone else is buying in, and its packaged as a morality tale (as AGW, like most Hollywood fiction, is). For many (most?) people believing in global warming is the political equivalent of a fashion statement. and they can feel good about being on the right and moral side.
Whereas conservatives don’t care if something is fashionable, they want to know whether it is true or not.

July 13, 2009 3:11 am

Add another reason to buy a Mac.

July 13, 2009 3:15 am

Don’t laugh too hard. Al Gore may already be planning a “documentary” on this howler– and Barbara Boxer writing legislation to make us pay for it (or borrow the money from the Chinese, who have a lot more reason to laugh than we do).
We live in a silly-ass society.

July 13, 2009 3:21 am

This is a joke, right?

July 13, 2009 3:36 am

Bill probably got his inspiration from George: click

Louis Hissink
July 13, 2009 3:40 am

If Bill was thinking of doing something to the Van Allen Belts, he might affect hurricane generation…….Hurricanes are like sunspots – various forms of electric discharges from the equatorial plasma toroid.
They might get a shock out of all this, in more ways than one.

King of Cool
July 13, 2009 3:42 am

No mention of protest against Al on ABC 7.30 report where Heather Hewitt was throwing tennis balls up for Al to whack into the “deniers” as he now calls them rather than sceptics. BUT for the first time ever – as I recall amongst all the doting – the ABC asked a pertinent question – Heather asked Al whether perhaps some of his possible exaggerations of global warming had been counter- productive.
His reply was that he reflected all IPCC predictions and that all the evidence for the last 20 years pointed towards what they believed was happening.
Meanwhile Steve Fielding is holding his ground despite being interrogated intensely by the ABC on radio and said before any politician passes any ETS bill they must be able to face their electorate and tell them that they understand the science and why there has been no significant warming in the past decade.
Steve Fielding is under intense pressure from all sections of the media and has really earned my respect in the way he is standing firm to his convictions. But he hopes to meet with Al Gore in next few days and will ask him to give an explanation. Maybe we will have some new light on the AGW theory coming out of Sydney! If he cannot satisfy Fielding, watch this space, there may be a murmur of thunder from down under.

July 13, 2009 3:55 am

Studies of dust storms in Africa vs Atlantic hurricanes show the more dust the less hurricanes. the study did not attempt to explain, just report.
I was wondering if anyone wanted to do the math. Seawater density varies with temperature, salinity, and (possibly) dissolved gases (or lack thereof). What water head would be needed to force warm, less saline, seawater to a depth of 200 meters? What wave action would be needed to reach this water head. How often does the wave height in the gulf reach this level.
How could you keep these things from moving around? Would these “boats” pose hazards to navigation? Who gets sued when an oil tanker rams one of them. Maybe Bill would sell insurance to shipping companies to cover damages to their ships.
Saayyy, Bill, I need $5,000,000 to research this for you. Would you mind if I compiled my research on my Mac?

July 13, 2009 4:19 am

What happens when it rains on one of these “boats” and reduces the surface density by 3.5%. would it shut down until mixing of the water restored the salinity? Would a hurricane actually have the unmitigated gall to rain on these and shut them down?
Bill, as a Louisiana boy, I was wondering about the cost difference between a regular house with your insurance and a reinforced house on stilts with no insurance?

Mark Fawcett
July 13, 2009 4:21 am

King of Cool writes:
“Steve Fielding is under intense pressure from all sections of the media and has really earned my respect in the way he is standing firm to his convictions. But he hopes to meet with Al Gore in next few days and will ask him to give an explanation.”

Indeed, and if I know Aussies, then they will _not_ take kindly to Mr Gore declining the debate; they can tell when they’re being bullsh*tted and don’t like it one bit :o)

Ryan C
July 13, 2009 4:31 am

Gotta love those computer models:

Doug Lavers
July 13, 2009 4:40 am

Assuming the whole idea of cooling the Gulf is feasible, I wonder what will happen to the Gulf Stream?
Europe might take a frosty view of the whole idea.

Mrs Whatsit
July 13, 2009 4:47 am

Ronan: “I’m sure a lot of you are convinced that I and others with my views are crazy and/or evil.”
If only you could have left the ad hominem projections out of what is otherwise a rational and interesting comment! In my experience it is liberals, not conservatives, who imagine that only crazy or wicked people could disagree with them. Conservatives are more likely to think that those who disagree are dumb or poorly informed (not you, obviously — whether or not your ideas are substantively correct, your post is clearly that of someone who has read and thought about the subject at hand) but they don’t as often invest their politics and science with the attributes of religious faith, not to mention prejudice and stereotyping, in this way.
Spend more time here and you’ll see that one of the best things about this site is that civil debate takes place in the comments and dissenters are not treated like jerks — as long as they don’t act like jerks themselves by assuming that the rest of us are jerks right at the beginning of their remarks.

July 13, 2009 4:58 am

But he hopes to meet with Al Gore in next few days and will ask him to give an explanation.
Al Gore couldn’t explain how a lightbulb worked. An Inconvenient Truth made me squirm with embarassment that someone so hopelessly ignorant of the science could be so proud to advertise that ignorance.
Anyway, I’m Australian and will vote for Senator Fielding’s party at the next election. Even though I wouldn’t have remotely considered such a vote in the past. Not only has Fielding made the right stand on the economy destroying climate change circus, he has shown considerable personal character in doing so.
I predict a real shock result in the next Australian Federal election. A lot of people think like me.
Note to American readers. The Australian electoral system has a proportional representation system for the senate, where seats are allocated on the total percentage of votes cast. Senator Fielding’s party only polled about 2% in the last election. I predict nearer 10% in the next election.

July 13, 2009 5:11 am

DocWat (03:55:36) :
I was wondering if anyone wanted to do the math. Seawater density varies with temperature, salinity, and (possibly) dissolved gases (or lack thereof). What water head would be needed to force warm, less saline, seawater to a depth of 200 meters?

A damned interesting question.
Have you got $300 to spare?
And can I borrow it afterwards?

July 13, 2009 5:22 am

Or on a cheaper ticket, wikipedia says:
The density of surface seawater ranges from about 1020 to 1029 kg·m-3, depending on the temperature and salinity. Deep in the ocean, under high pressure, seawater can reach a density of 1050 kg·m-3 or higher.
Looks like Bill might have problems persuading the surface waters down the pipe.
The thing is, Warm surface water must transfer heat downwards somehow, otherwise we wouldn’t have had ~16mm of thermal expansion in the oceans between 1993 and 2003, as measured by the satellite altimetry.
I’ve been wondering if the tropical waters are more saline due to higher evaporation, then move to higher latitudes in wind driven currents where there is more precipitation and so lower surface salinity, and then sink. I’m only speculating, and I’d love some answers.

Fred from Canuckistan . . .
July 13, 2009 5:46 am
Paul R
July 13, 2009 5:55 am

King of Cool (03:42:54) :
Steve Fielding is under intense pressure from all sections of the media and has really
earned my respect in the way he is standing firm to his convictions. But he hopes to meet with Al Gore in next few days and will ask him to give an explanation. Maybe we will have some new light on the AGW theory coming out of Sydney! If he cannot satisfy Fielding, watch this space, there may be a murmur of thunder from down under.
Sorry for being cynical but Australia’s ETS will pass through our Senate faster than Bill’s interest accumulates once the Malarkey bill goes through.

Don S.
July 13, 2009 5:59 am

Sounds like they left out more parameters than a Hansen climate model. Intellectual Ventures? More like Happy Hour and cocktail napkins.

Mike S
July 13, 2009 6:08 am

I am fully expecting some genius to propose the strategy that was used in the Matrix Trilogy – to permanently scorch the atmosphere so that sunlight cannot get through.

Johnny Honda
July 13, 2009 6:10 am

The madness of “climate change” has no boundaries:
“Scientists” found out, that coldness is not so great as assumed and that it is also possible to die due to coldness and not only due to heat.
Almost 250 children had to die to persuade the “scientists” of that fact.
Now conmes the REALLY strange part:
Global WARMING is to blame for the cold (!!?@!?).
All this stuff cannot be taken seriously since a long time.

July 13, 2009 6:18 am

Hubris – \ˈhyü-brəs\:
Exaggerated pride or self-confidence.
(Miriam Webster on-line dictionary, 2009)
Overbearing pride or presumption; arrogance.
( definition, 2009)
Bill Gates’ patent to mitigate hurricanes.
(Watts Up With That, 2009)
And I thought Al Gore was delusional.

July 13, 2009 6:24 am

Let’s make a giant leap of faith and assume that this could actually work as advertised. (And ignore whether there even is any AGW.)
Seems like this massive interference in the natural oceanic vertical mixing should at least require some sort of environmental impact study based upon the exact location and the myriad numbers of species of oceanic life that live in that locale. And have no doubt, to be significant enough to impact a hurricane following an indeterminate track, the area/amount of cooler surface water needed would have to be huge..
Global warming theory advocates collide with environmental extremists! Greenpeace attacks Bill Gate’s flotilla! Hurricane drowns them all.
This could become a reality TV show.

Ryan C
July 13, 2009 6:25 am

An article about how cold summer has been and not one mention of “climate change” What a surprise.

July 13, 2009 6:28 am

Not only does Gates have the resources to do this, but the most important assset has not been mentioned: a pass from the enviros.
Recall how loudly a plan to seed areas of the Pacific with iron to encourage plankton blooming was loudly shouted down. We must not mess with the fagile ecosystem! Hubris! Too risky! But this scheme was self-limiting and did not involve expending large amounts of money or energy, just a few tons of plankton-friendly iron atoms. The instant that the seeding stopped, the bloom would too.
Happly, the evidence that contradicts AGW is growing faster than its advocates can whine, spin, and hyperventilate. And the public is starting to catch on to this massive con job, are are not surprised to find it finally out in the open that this is far more about power and money than it is about saving the planet.

July 13, 2009 6:35 am

This is one of those fish-in-a-barrel posts. I am not going to waste brain space thinking about this nutcase idea.

João Oliveira
July 13, 2009 6:40 am

No news here… the basic idea is – is and always has been – to know where a butterfly beats its wings…

Arn Riewe
July 13, 2009 6:44 am

Ronan (21:28:57) :
“I’m a liberal, am fairly certain that humans are having a significant (and dangerous) effect on global climate, and look on the near future of humanity and Earth with a distinctly worried eye. In other words, I’ve not exactly much in common with most of the posters here, and I’m sure a lot of you are convinced that I and others with my views are crazy and/or evil.”
“Crazy and/or evil” are terms normally reserved for far left use. I, as a non-catastrophist, respect someone that believes in AGW and can show the rationale that he/she uses. Unfortunately, when we are branded as “deniers, traitors, flat earthers, don’t believe man landed on the moon, etc., who are the ones that are implying “crazy and/or evil”

David L. Hagen
July 13, 2009 6:45 am

“I have one, but unfortunately don’t have Bill Gates money to hire the lawyers to try and extract royalties from the companies infringing on my patent.”
There are legal firms that will take your case on contingency for a (hefty) share of the rewards if they win. If you have at least one solid patent claim and clear infringement, find a contingent fee lawyer/firm and go for it.
See: “patent contingency fee” or
patent contingent fee

David L. Hagen
July 13, 2009 6:58 am

While Gates et al. describe using wave action to pump warm water down, Lovelock, Rapley etc. address artificial upwelling. e.g., see: Ocean pipes could help the Earth to cure itself
JE Lovelock, CG Rapley – Nature, 2007 –
Citations to Lovelock & Rapley

Dane Skold
July 13, 2009 7:02 am

Bill is going to turn the ocean into a BLUE SCREEN OF DEATH!

July 13, 2009 7:10 am

The whole idea is hilarious. I wonder how soon they will talk of trying the same technology to curb El Nino. Let’s just wait and see.

July 13, 2009 7:13 am

Ah, perhaps he would like to feed the worlds starving millions? Well a friend of my second cousin of my aunt Frances brothers sister has just got a patient for a cow with tits at both ends.

July 13, 2009 7:15 am

No worries, at first it will lock up and you’ll need to reboot. Then you’ll get the blue screen of death. The ships will then go through numerous iterations to work out the bugs, and they will then lock up and you’ll have to reboot. Then you’ll get the blue screen of death…..
If it were in operation today, I wonder if the folks of south Texas could file a class action lawsuit against such a scheme. They (and the lakes) need the rain. I’m hoping that a small one blows in south of Corpus and then turns north along I-35.

July 13, 2009 7:30 am

He would have better luck taking the *cold* from LNG shipments and using that to cool the ocean surface water. Louisiana and Texas import LNG, which is then vaporized using surface ocean water. The ocean surface becomes somewhat cooler in this process.
Not a new idea, been around for several years. No patent available.

Pearland Aggie
July 13, 2009 7:34 am

Dr. Roy has a new post on how climate models work…
How Do Climate Models Work?

July 13, 2009 7:40 am

Is it a contest? Which con artist will surpase the other one contest. It’s the contest where non-sciense based ideas can drive political descision and extract the most money from governments and people. In the lead is Al Gore. Let’s see if Bill’o will get ahead.

Douglas DC
July 13, 2009 7:46 am

As a victim of Vista-I see no good coming of this…
Some of the above comments are priceless..

July 13, 2009 7:51 am

I used to claim neurosis was not contageous. It is now spreading by contact in the global warming community. Symptoms include hand wringing and loss of sleep.

July 13, 2009 7:58 am

Hey Anthony, how about these New World Order goons over at the Rockefeller Foundation? Global warming will lead to the collapse of civilization!?! Who are they kidding? How do they expect people to buy into this nonsense? Do they really think everybody is that gullible? Here, it is the middle of July and it can’t even reach 80 degrees here.

Jimmy Haigh
July 13, 2009 7:59 am

I’ve just invented a huge paddle that we can stick in the middle of The Pacific ocean and turn anti-clockwise. Or clockwise.

July 13, 2009 8:01 am

I would prefer a Linux system.

Jim G
July 13, 2009 8:01 am

The good news is: We stopped hurricanes.
The bad news is: The eastern US coast is now in draught and killed half the fish.
Mr. Burns? or a Homer moment?

July 13, 2009 8:11 am

rickM (21:22:51) :
My issue with this is manifold. What are the longer term effects of altering ocean surface temps? Does he have to file an EIS each time he intends on deploying such a system? If not, why not?

The obvious solutions to the legal issues are to use a corporation based outside the Americas and operate outside territorial waters.
As to the effects of altering ocean temperatures, nobody knows. Nobody knows the effects of what has been happening, much less other changes.
And I don’t doubt that this design can pump water down, although I don’t know how much. Thought experiment: If you doubt the concept, assume that the water inside the collector is only one inch above sea level. The weight of that inch of water becomes the downward force. If you’ve seen a small river barge, you know a similar structure has a square footage which is a significant fraction of a football field. Oceangoing barges are larger. So assume the collection container will have a large number of square feet of surface area. If the pipe going down has a diameter of one inch, the weight of many square feet of one inch of water will be pushing into that tiny pipe. There should be quite a bit of force available, so water will indeed go down. The question becomes how much larger it can be made while still forcing water down… and the additional issues of whether it would have the desired effect and fewer undesired effects.

July 13, 2009 8:31 am

If you just lose the left/right, conservative/liberal false paradigm, strange ideas like this mean there’s more to this story than meets the eye. This appears to be a hair-brained scheme so that should send up a red flag warning that there is a far different intent linking “beneath the surface” and that does not include gaining from insurance fees or patent infringment suits –those were far too easy for you to guess. Does anyone here think BIll is a liberal? Al (Occidental Oil) Gore? The true liberals and conservatives are the sheep (baa, that means you and me) they corral to argue over whose philosophy is the true philosophy while they inact their actual goals by deception.

Gary Pearse
July 13, 2009 8:46 am

I have a better idea than Gates: Build better houses! The 200 year old plantation houses in the New Orleans area are falling down from neglect but they appear to have weathered the hundreds of hurricanes. Our two by fours are now 1.5″ x 2.75″ and chipboard has replaced sturdy lumber. They appear to have a building code in Florida that is transplanted from two of the “Three Little Pigs”- Imagine putting an extra $5,000 into your home – say a few small I-beams in the structure, anchor your roof. You will save more on insurance, especially if a hurricane sweeps in and you can avoid the deductible.
Joel Shore (19:53:03) :
neill says:
Real Clueless: It’s gonna be bitch-ass cold for a decade or more.
I think it takes a bit of work to go from a pause in the warming to “bitch ass cold”.
Joel, I’ve seen you on this site many times before and I judge you to be an intelligent fellow, if a bit zealous about AGW (or maybe you just like to be contrary). You are rather full of yourself, and I detect a tiny bit of coming down on the AGW issue. Tell me if, in your heart, you don’t agree that you find the hiatus in warming “hypothesis” exceedingly disingenuous if not desperatelfy convenient a straw to grasp. At least admit that CO2 isn’t so mighty a juggernaut as it has been billed for 20 years. Or couldn’t you just admit to being a bit disappointed. It certainly is clear that even the AGW people supplement their models by looking out the window from time to time and this comes across as the closest to an admission that the science isn’t quite settled that we have seen so far from your side. Its hard to just let them save face here, though, after so much name calling and villification of opponent scientists as evil deniers.
pyromancer76 (20:29:44) :
on being anti conservative because they lay back and enjoy the fruits…. This fellow Gates and friend Buffett are forking over what? $75B to help solve problems that the UN hasn’t been able to do anything with for 60 years, largely because of their socialist nonsense. From a little drop-out with an idea and a garage for a factory he deserves some respect. I’m sure he has paid more taxes than he would have in your socialist world (plus the taxes of his million employees) where you take away money that should be put to work and earn the kind of stake that can help the world. Oh and he was a big part of the revolution that gave the world the ability to communicate like this at will. I wrote to the Nobel committee telling them to start giving prizes to the deserving, like Gates. Old Alfred himself was a capitalist who would roll over in his grave if he saw the Norwegian socialist nonsense that his endowment is being spent on. (Monday mornings, especially a cold one in July get me going I guess – 17C (63F) the high in Ottawa, Canada today)

Jimmy Haigh
July 13, 2009 8:50 am

Jimmy Haigh (07:59:59) :
I’ve just invented a huge paddle that we can stick in the middle of The Pacific ocean and turn anti-clockwise. Or clockwise.
Hmm. Maybe we could use the moon as the energy source…

Retired Engineer
July 13, 2009 8:57 am

Michael (07:58:45) :
“Global warming will lead to the collapse of civilization!?!”
You are right, they are over the edge. On the other hand, the government response to the AGW issue may well lead to the collapse of civilization. Massive deficits, starvation (biofuel production) and grossly missed opportunity due to lack of funds (spent on AGW non-solutions)
The whole idea is harebrained, but worse, as Anthony pointed out earlier, the issue of scale. Just how many BTU’s will go from the surface to the depths? A decent ‘cane transfers a whole bunch of energy, which has to come from somewhere. This scheme might remove a tiny fraction of it. So we go from Category 5 to Cat 4.95 That should help a bunch.
Some years back there was a proposal for a sea-level canal through Nicaragua. Supposedly only a 4 foot difference in water level. Not gonna generate much power with that.

July 13, 2009 9:05 am

This is about as good as Hubris gets. I wish he’d just send the money to me rather than screw around with Nature in a microscopic and useless way.

Gary Pearse
July 13, 2009 9:07 am

AnonyMoose (08:11:34) :
“So assume the collection container will have a large number of square feet of surface area. If the pipe going down has a diameter of one inch, the weight of many square feet of one inch of water will be pushing into that tiny pipe.”
An inch of water in an open barge is not going to have any more pressure to push water down a one inch pipe than an inch of water in a beer bottle. Cover it with a piston and apply force- that’s different.

July 13, 2009 9:10 am

Do you really think Bill is a true philanthropist? He is working along with the UN —same goal, different means. Foundations are a way for a family to control their fortune far into the future. You just have to appear like you’re doing it for the greater good. (Some good has to be visible, but that is their cover.) These people are not conservative (or liberal) in the good sense that I assume most here are.

July 13, 2009 9:26 am

Gates patent claims will not hold up, because this idea was actually suggested years ago.
I’m not saying I really thought it was practical, but my 2005 post “Hurricane Stopper” did toss out a scheme for using wind turbine powered boats to follow the track of a hurricane by sucking cold propellant water from way down and using it to jet-boat along with the storm.
Hey, Katrina was pretty bad. Anything that MIGHT be able to stop it ought to be discussed.

July 13, 2009 9:35 am

Too bad Einstein is not alive anymore. As a former patent reviewer, I would love to see what he would think of this one.

João Oliveira
July 13, 2009 9:37 am

A)bort, R)etry OR I)gnore…

July 13, 2009 9:44 am

“at first it will lock up and you’ll need to reboot.” lol
Then a huge sign will flash in the sky, which is appropriately blue, saying “General Earth Fault”, and the control alt delete button won’t work, time will stop, and don’t even get me started on what the “core dump” will do to us.

July 13, 2009 9:48 am

Alec Rawls (09:26:27) :
Manuel Garcia, Jr roughly calculated the amount of energy packed in a hurricane:
He conclused that the energy in Gustav must have been about;
“E = 6.944 x (10 to the 17th power) joules.
The energy released by the explosion of 1000 tons of TNT (a kiloton, abbreviated kt) is 4.182 x (10 to the 12th power) joules. So, E = 166,055 kt (or equivalently, 166.05 megatons). The atomic bomb exploded at Hiroshima on August 6, 1945 produced about 15 kt, so the model storm has the energy equivalent of 11,070 Hiroshima bombs. Most of the energy of a hurricane is dissipated as atmospheric turbulence and heating, and friction along the Earth’s surface, only a very tiny portion of it is absorbed by the structures built by humans.
Bear in mind that the energy of the hurricane is spread over a much larger volume than that of a nuclear explosion (so hurricane energy per unit volume is smaller), and it is released over a much longer period of time. But it is of awesome scale, and we are still as powerless before it as were our first ancestors four million years ago.”
You would have a better chance at stopping a hurricane by putting an enormous hydrogen bomb deep under sea and blow all that cold water right in the center of the eye. However, even such drastic attempt would create more damage than the hurricane itself.
Compared to the forces in nature all of humanity can be compared to a single ant trying to stop a bulldozer by stepping in front of it.

July 13, 2009 9:49 am

“Anything that MIGHT be able to stop it ought to be discussed.”
Cripes! What would it potentially do to the Gulf Stream? I can’t believe you are serious. Don’t you whackos believe in the “precautionary principle”? I personally don’t, but I guess warmies only believe in the PC when it suits them, and disregard it when it doesn’t. Hurricanes are part of the climate balance. A better approach would be to not build along the coasts, and those who do, do so at their own risk. I think that the PC is absurd anyway, since if we started to follow it, we would be violating it, since we never followed it before. But you guys pretend to.

July 13, 2009 10:01 am

I’m as far from being a scientist as you can imagine, in fact my eyes completely glaze over at some of the stuff debated here.
If hurricanes serve as natural heat release valves for the oceans, and if Gates’ concept could be achieved on a scale to have the desired effect he seeks, by stuffing heat back into the ocean wouldn’t that really just be encouraging the advent of ‘super-hurricanes’, or some such?

July 13, 2009 10:26 am

The cold dark ocean depths are not something that we fully understand. I’m not sure it’s a good idea to cause potential damage to that ecosystem that has adapted to having a very consistent, cold temperature in the name of trying to stop the natural occurrence of hurricanes. Why don’t we stop building cities below sea level, instead?

July 13, 2009 11:22 am

Hurricanes do not exist, they contradict “Greenhouse” theory, heat is safely kept in our “heat pipe” with never ending positive feedbacks, there is no such thing as cooling caused by hurricanes.
In any case we can delete them from our climate models and they just disappear from the screen.

July 13, 2009 11:23 am

I skipped the technical mumbo jumbo, because this is really a question of economics; assuming Bill ‘hurricane’ Gates really can stop devastating storms, then who pays?
Insurance works because someone pays a premium to protect their property against accidental damage. But in this case the damage will be stopped at source by Bill Gates. Therefore people who haven’t any insurance will still benefit at the cost of those that have paid their premiums. If it is to be financed by governments then which ones? What happens if a hurricane is about to strike the South West but then veers into Mexico, but Mexico has not paid for insurance?
The only parallel I can think of exists in the world of fiction. Who remembers the puppet series ‘Thunderbirds’? For those that don’t, the storyline consists of a billionaire philanphropist who lives with his five sons on a secret island where they monitor the global airwaves listening for calls of distress. Calling themselves ‘International Rescue’ , they then launch into action, save the day and disappear without waiting for either payment or thanks.
Bill Gates, you are the new ‘International Rescue’.

July 13, 2009 11:24 am

Sorry, WestHoustonGeo, but ideas can’t be copyrighted, and you’ll spend hundreds of millions trying to litigate the licensing fees if you patent your idea- you’re better off buying some delapidated Carribean real estate if you’re sure your idea is a winner.
I think a few megaton nukes 300 feet deep could mix up the water and cool things down much quicker. If hurricanes weaken just going over islands, you’d think this could do the trick just as well…

David L. Hagen
July 13, 2009 11:28 am

Rule of thumb for hurricane construction from a friend in Vanuatu:
“Use 7 bolts per square meter to keep siding on in a hurricane.”
How strong was the hurricane?
Don’t know – the hurricane blew away the anemometer!

July 13, 2009 11:51 am

Some years back, Bill Gates bought 8% of Newport News Shipping and Drydock Company (which was later purchased by Northrop Grumman). The Wikipedia entry for his private investment company, Cascade Investments LLC, still shows Newport News as an investment.
Maybe he’s trying to generate some business?

July 13, 2009 11:58 am

It’s funny that the AGWiers are always saying that CO2 is bad but methane is even badder and are going out of their ways to get fartless cows. The part about methane being a worse greenhouse gas might be true but we have no idea what effect it would have if it was increased many folds in the atmosphere.
Do they have any idea that if they promote Gate’s idea and start pumping warm water deep in the oceans they might actually unlock enormous amounts of methane frozen as methane hydrates (or methane clathrates) in the ocean floors?
Just to compare, the permafrost reservoir has been estimated at about 400 Gt C in the Arctic, but no estimates have been made of possible Antarctic reservoirs. These are large amounts. For comparison the total carbon in the atmosphere is around 700 GT.

July 13, 2009 12:00 pm

Alysia (11:51:10) :
“Maybe he’s trying to generate some business?”
So does Al Gore !

July 13, 2009 12:07 pm

Jimmy Haigh (07:59:59) :
I’ve just invented a huge paddle that we can stick in the middle of The Pacific ocean and turn anti-clockwise. Or clockwise.

But can it do both, at the same time? It needs to, just to be sure.

Pamela Gray
July 13, 2009 12:17 pm

Since the PDO was discovered in ships’ logs of historical salmon tonnage, many other marine and on-shore cycles have been discovered to coincide with oceanic cycles. The main cyclic characteristic of oceanic oscillations are the sea surface temperatures. Artificially changing these temperatures could be devastating to everything from ocean algae and fish, to on-shore big game and trees. Gates’ idea is about as un-green as you can get, far more devastating than the supposed affects of CO2.

Pamela Gray
July 13, 2009 12:20 pm

And just in case some of you will come back with the idea that the human portion of CO2 has the potential to artificially change SST thus oscillations, it may well figure into the equation, but the degree of change would be overwhelmingly buried in naturally occurring SST noise, just like the Sun’s effect is.

tim maguire
July 13, 2009 12:34 pm

I, for one, fully support Mr. Gates’ efforts. I only ask that he wait to deploy his scheme until after I set up a legal practice throughout the Southeast so that I may sue the living crap out of him each and every time a hurricane makes landfall.

July 13, 2009 12:41 pm

As ridiculous as this story is, maybe it would actually be for the best if someone like Bill Gates took charge of our climate. I mean, given the recent g8 summit, it seems like no one else is ready to try and fix the world’s problems So maybe, the best option is to punt the ball to Gates and hope he acts intelligently.

July 13, 2009 12:42 pm

” but the degree of change would be overwhelmingly buried in naturally occurring SST noise, just like the Sun’s effect is”
You say that with such confidence. As if you accept everything Leif says as a recieved text from the universe. Proving a negative in a domain as complex as the climate is impossible. Leif has just assumed the ground under his feet for the practical reason that without assuming something, it is almost impossible to make progress. It could still be a dead end. Just sayin.

July 13, 2009 12:43 pm

Pamela Gray (12:17:05) :
In addition, sending warm water deeper could also increase the rejection of CO2 from the oceans… personnaly I have no problem with that, but I do have major problems with the damage warming the deep ocean might have on the ecosystem and the global environment.
If they consider CO2 as a pollutant, warm water could actually be a worse “pollutant” when put where it does not belong. Have those guys never heard of thermal pollution from Nuclear plants rejecting the warm water in rivers? This is why they now have to cool it down to near river temperature.

Indiana Bones
July 13, 2009 12:44 pm

The real reason for this idea is to counter the Klingon heat rays beamed toward Earth to play havoc with our weather!
And Buckminster Fuller once proposed giant fans (100 feet tall) mounted on the hills around the LA basin – to blow the smog out to sea. Don’t think Bucky filed for a patent though.

Eric Naegle
July 13, 2009 12:54 pm

An intellectually over rated billionaire surrounded with honey dripping, obsequious sycophants 24/7 + 1 intellectually challenged, domineering wife + an overpowering desire to become part of, and accepted by, the elite entertainment class’ (he and his Melinda) = The perfect moronic storm
I mean really…

July 13, 2009 1:00 pm

Goodness…Mea culpa on the “crazy and/or evil” comment in my earlier post! I owe an apology to those I offended with that; got a trifle over-defensive, perhaps. Flattened underneath my own over-large shield…Sorry to everyone bothered by that.
Anyway, in response to this post:
Purakanui (00:35:15) :
I’d be interested in your evidence for ‘accelerating global warming’.
Well…Simplest answer, graphs like this: From the late 1800s to 1920s-ish, not much going on. From 1920s-ish to 1960-ish, a rise. From 1960s-ish to 2000s, a steeper rise.
…Which is a really simplistic answer, and I’d be insulting your intelligence if I assumed that you had not already seen such graphs before and did not have a different view of what they meant. But that, along with, well, the majority (consensus, I don’t know, but I’m pretty sure from what I’ve read that AGW is the majority view among climate scientists), is why I think the warming is accelerating, and has been for a fair amount of time (in human terms, of course. Geologically a fragment of a moment, but in human terms a fair amount of time). So, yes. That’s the rationale behind my views.

a jones
July 13, 2009 1:33 pm

Yes well, I wouldn’t worry about peat bogs locked in the permafrost, once they start to warm dormant biological processes come to life and they start to suck up CO2 rather than releasing it.
Much the same goes for the theory that higher temperatures will cause plants to exhaust nitrogen reserves and fail, both experiment and field observation show it does not happen. For plants including trees, higher temperatures and higher CO2 do them a vast amount of good.
Again the idea that warming would disturb methane clathrates/hydrates is another adsurd ‘O’ level, High School you might say, deduction. It is not the temperature that keeps them stable but the enormous pressure at these depths.
As for Mr. Gates big idea there is an expression for such vain attempts to influence great natural forces which I am too polite to write here.
It is as crazy as Hoyle’s idea of the seventies that we could stave off the impending ice age by pumping warm surface water into the ocean depths to increase the energy stored in the oceans.
And Hoyle was a great astronomer and scientist of his day, not that we ever saw eye to eye, he despised me for being a ‘Big Bang Heretic’.
Still what goes around comes around; windmills, electric cars, energy saving, overpopulation, starvation, not nuclear war this time it seems, but still the End of Days. Won’t happen. Been there, done that and got the T shirt as I think the modern idiom goes.
Kindest Regards

Ron Dean
July 13, 2009 2:16 pm

It will work better than Windows.

July 13, 2009 2:20 pm

I don’t think that cooling the waters is a good idea. Colder water means less evaporation. In the eastern US (and I mean mainly east of the Rockies), grassland and forests are the natural habitat, and the farmland there supports food for our nation and much of the world. If you were to cool the Gulf, that would mean a drastic decrease in rainfall east of the Rockies. That would cause a severe water shortage and could be an ecological disaster as forests dry up and turn into grassland and deserts form.
A better thing to do is to learn how to build houses that can withstand such weather events. There are a bunch of new materials such as graphene, nanotubes, and others in the works. Perhaps, we can build houses and cities better to withstand hurricanes.

July 13, 2009 2:23 pm

Hopefully all this madness or foolishness will vanish as soon as it appeared, the next “turn of the screw” is approaching…reason will prevail at the end.

July 13, 2009 2:42 pm

As I read your post, you’re saying the G8 should punt “climate change”, which of course is neither manmade nor could we change it if we tried, over to a “useful idiot” like Bill Gates, so the G8 can move along with the stuff they were originally formed to do?
That actually makes a lot of sense, and I concur.

July 13, 2009 3:01 pm

Tornadoes and hurricanes are responsible for much global cooling. Without them the rich tapestry of our weather system would be a poorer place. No-one has to live in zones where these are a problem – offer grants to encourage people to move away from the danger. Same applies to those living on flood plains or near volcanoes or in regions of high seismic activity. Common sense really, if you value life.
As for Bill Gates, looks like he’s away with the fairies…LOL

July 13, 2009 3:31 pm

Wow, this gives a whole new meaning to “blue screen of death” when the operating system for this scheme crashes…

J. Peden
July 13, 2009 3:38 pm

Anyone know why Gates’ waves in Fig. 1 don’t have troughs?

July 13, 2009 3:46 pm

When you get to know The Gates and compare what they say and what they actually do, it can get really scary.
It is well known by now that The Gates are not there to help humanity in a humanitarian type of way. They are there to make money, lots of it. Anything they promote as a solution for humanity turns out to be a better way for them to make money. Two really scary examples are given below…
Here is the truth about their Fundation where more money goes to companies working against the very definition of what the fundation is supposed to do…

The other very frightening Gate project is that of the “Doomsday Seed Vault” where is his in business with well known Eugenists.

Indiana Bones
July 13, 2009 5:29 pm

Ray (15:46:26) :
“When you get to know The Gates and compare what they say and what they actually do, it can get really scary.”
Let’s ask this question, is it better for this foundation to be invested in big corporations whose dividends provide it with the cash to distribute medical care and education? Or to invest in less profitable enterprises that will return less cash for these charitable efforts?
The LA Times/Amy Grant story acknowledges the foundation has given away some $10B in the last six years – with an efficacy far higher than government or the UN. Their complaint is in the foundation’s portfolio. Personally I’d rather see the corporate profits go to a foundation like this than to government funding more AGW studies.
As for the Global Seed Bank in Svalbard, Norway – it is a project initiated and owned by Norwegians. Their intent is to protect biodiversity by banking samples of millions of seed types from around the globe. The groundbreaking ceremony was attended by the Premiers of Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Finland and Iceland – calling it “Noah’s Ark on Svalbard.”
About as scary as the melting ice caps and sea level rise.
Eric Naegle (12:54:02) :
An intellectually over rated billionaire surrounded with honey dripping, obsequious sycophants 24/7 etc. etc. etc.
Wondering where the famous WUWT moderators are on this.
Reply: ??? Whatzamatta for you? I see nothing upon which comment. ~ charles the moderator

Chuck Bradley
July 13, 2009 8:16 pm

This will be an interesting patent application to follow.
Does the Patent Office still require a working model?

July 13, 2009 10:28 pm

Chuck, no, the patent office does not usually require a working model, but can require one when a fundamental principle of physics is violated – such as perpetual motion. see 35 U.S.C. 114, shown below:
35 U.S.C. 114
“Models, specimens.
The Director [of the Patent Office] may require the applicant to furnish a model of convenient size to exhibit advantageously the several parts of his invention.”

D. Quist
July 13, 2009 11:07 pm

Why cool the water? One ice-cold quart of water tossed into the air as mist will pull a tremendous amount of heat out of the air before it is warmed up.
Pull bottom water through an insulated pipe to the surface and eject the water say 1000ft into the air.
You don’t have to do this all the time. You would only need to do it in the area in front of the hurricane that is threatened by a landfall.
I’m not too serious about this, but here is a back of the envelope calculation.
To heat 1Kilo of water 1C. takes 4186 Joules
Energy released through clouds/rain by a Hurricane during 24 hours, 5.2×10^19 Joule.
Too warm up 1000 liters, or one ton of water from say 0C to 26C takes 109 million Joules.
How much ice-cold water would have to be pumped into the air to nullify the energy in a hurricane?? My calculation is 5.5 million tonnes per second… I might be off somewhere. But still, that is an enormous amount of water to be pumped into the air…
Maybe we could cool it a little…. But, with these kind of numbers, it all is out of our range.
You would need one gigantic pump for that…

July 13, 2009 11:24 pm

Indiana Bones (17:29:35) :
Obviously, you haven’t looked into the two links I put in my comment.

Bill Parkyn
July 13, 2009 11:24 pm

To WestHoustonGeo: You can’t patent that idea so Gates wouldn’t be interested, however more sensible it is.
To starzmom: The artificial upwellings are the same as for Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion (OTEC), with no pumping back down. The upwelling is best done in a current, such as across the Yucatan Straits, so that the cold water mixes with the hot water to get lukewarm.
MC: During the summer the Yucatan pump line would be keeping the Y-current at spring temps, thereby suppressing sea-surface evaporation downstreat for a week per 10C cooling, or all of the Gulf Coast of Mexico, Texas, and Louisiana. After that you’d use the ones in the picture above. What temps do your warm-water fish actually need? As for oxygen, it’s easy to pump a little air down and blow bubbles in the upcoming cold water. The high fertilizer value of the cold water will result in more fish, not less.
To D. Cohen: the thermocline is only a hundred feet thick while the ocean is of course far deeper, so there’s lots of cooling potential. The sun needs two weeks to re-warm it.
To GuruOfReason: Most of the rain in the West comes from winter storms, so you want to humidify them with ocean sprayers west of Canada, say, to boost rain downwind. This would be much more valuable than ocean cooling. The impending Little Ice Age will render cooling schemes unnecessary, because soon there won’t be a warm Gulf.
GigaWatt solar power sats could be used to strategically deposit heat in key ‘butterfly effect’ parcels a few cubic miles in size, to steer storms as well as strengthen or weaken them. But first you’d have to follow Shakespeare’s advice about lawyers.

July 14, 2009 3:07 am

Ronan (13:00:10) : “I’ve read that AGW is the majority view among climate scientists”
Even if true (and I think that’s changed), this is argumentum ad populum (the head-count argument) a classic form of fallacious logic, proving nothing. Remember, majority view once held that the planet was 150 million years old, that bleeding was the proper treatment for pneumonia, that the Earth was the center of the universe. How many times have we all seen the “consensus of experts” suddenly proved wrong, on everything from carcinogenic saccharine to Saddam’s WMD?
I believe you when you say you “look on the near future of humanity and Earth with a distinctly worried eye”. It may explain your suseptibility to doomsday prophesy. Myself, I was born with the skepticism that makes a true scientist–if only I had the brains to go with it.
This is a first-rate site. I hope you’ll visit often.

July 14, 2009 5:22 am

“I’ve read that AGW is the majority view among climate scientists”
If thinking about science to you consists of head counting opinions based on press accounts and the *Wikipedia*, fer [explitive deleted], could you please explain why you come here and comment?
We can read the papers too. This argument is not, as it seems to a lot of people who believe in global warming seem to think, about *reading comprehension*, it is about independent *critical thinking*. If you don’t think that is possible, once again, why bother? What can you say that we haven’t heard a million times? A more effective use of your time might be to answer our objections to things like use of Wikipedia as a source, and bringing up a temperature record which this blog has dedicated tremendous effort on the part of a lot of people to either validate or invalidate.

Ron de Haan
July 14, 2009 6:32 am

Why does Bill not find a way to fish all that disposed plastic out of the oceans.
He would still be “Off Shore” but actually doing something useful with his money.

July 14, 2009 6:38 am

I too have been thinking of ways to power down a hurricane…I don’t think it can be stopped but I do believe that it may be possible to knock some of the punch out of a hurricane….and if someone is able have Mr.Gates contact me I will be glad to share my ideas with him because I have been thinking about this ever since the storm destroyed the Gulf Coast some years back

Ron de Haan
July 14, 2009 6:43 am

Gary Pearse (08:46:51) :
“From a little drop-out with an idea and a garage for a factory he deserves some respect”.
You are right on the drop-out but wrong on the garage.
I think you confuse Microsoft with Apple here.
Or did they all start in a garage?
Anyhow, I lost my respect using his software.

Indiana Bones
July 14, 2009 10:52 am

Ray (23:24:10) :
Obviously, you haven’t looked into the two links I put in my comment.
Yeah, Ray I did. Like I said. About as scary as the melting ice caps and sea level rise. Those Norwegians really got it in for us.
Reply: ??? Whatzamatta for you? I see nothing upon which comment. ~ charles the moderator
Holy macaroni Challie… I gotto get more organizized, eh?

July 14, 2009 11:10 am

“and if someone is able have Mr.Gates contact me I will be glad to share my ideas with him because I have been thinking about this ever since the storm destroyed the Gulf Coast some years back”
Let’s just assume you are not joking, for the sake of discussion. Who pays if you steer the hurricane away from New Orleans, and it hits Galveston?
My personal favorite? Glad you asked. We will install wind turbines with giant batteries, and when a hurricane comes, we will reverse the power and turn them into giant fans, shearing off the storm. D’oh! I just gave away my billion dollar idea!

Before Gore Kneel
July 14, 2009 11:59 am

Bill’s new grasping,
Oh Rent Seeking Blue Screen of Death,
Writ large, writ stoopid.

Michael Jankowski
July 16, 2009 9:09 pm

I like the patent they are seeking for a fence that would fire photons at mosquitos.

July 29, 2009 6:03 pm

“Imagine…Reducing the Punch of Hurricanes,” published May 22, 2009.

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