Plan to use submarines to subdue typhoons/hurricanes

Sep 30, 2010 by Lin Edwards report
Photo by Alan Rowlands, via Wikipedia.

(PhysOrg.com) -- A Japanese hydraulic manufacturing company has unveiled plans to use submarines to downgrade the force of typhoons. The company, Ise Kogyo, from Mie in Central Japan, has had patents approved in Japan and India for its geo-engineering plan to use submarines to subdue typhoons, which are known elsewhere in the world as hurricanes, tropical storms, cyclonic storms and cyclones.

The idea is to use a fleet of around 20 submarines in front of the gathering storm, each fitted with eight pumps capable of shooting 480 tonnes of cold water a minute. The submarines would dive to a depth of 30 meters and pump water from that depth onto the surface of the sea to lower the surface temperature.

Company executive Koichi Kitamura, who came up with the idea, said that in an hour a fleet of 20 submarines could lower the temperature of 57,000 square meters of surface water enough to diminish the strength of the typhoon, which needs an of 25 to 27 degrees Celsius to form and keep spinning. He said the scheme should be able to stop a typhoon in its tracks.

A for the scheme is pending and may be approved soon in the US. The main problems in its implementation would seem to be accurately predicting the path of the storm and deploying enough submarines to exactly the right place in time.

These problems may prove insurmountable, and questions have also been raised on the advisability of preventing such storms anyway, since they provide a critical mechanism for transferring around the globe.

Ise Kogyo is now reportedly seeking partners to help them test their ideas.

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More information: via Mainichi

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User comments : 21

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snwboardn
not rated yet Sep 30, 2010
He said the scheme should be able to stop a typhoon in its tracks.


Seeing as how hurricanes can make it over land, and while they may weaken, they are definitely not stopped in their tracks and just pick back up on the other side. Maybe they can manage to downgrade a storm but I would have to see it to believe it...

Quantum_Conundrum
3.7 / 5 (3) Sep 30, 2010
Useless.

This is a joke right?

The majority of the Gulf of Mexico, western Atlantic, and Caribbean are currently 29 to 30 celsius at 26 meters depth.

57000m^2 per hour is only 0.057km^2, which is insignificant compared to the size of even a SMALL a hurricane's central dense overcast.

The Area under just the eye and eye-wall of an average hurricane is around 2827 miles^2.

So the entire fleet can pump 1.368 square kilometer worth of water in 24 hours, which is about half of one square mile.

In order to make this have any chance whatsoever of effecting an average size hurricane by even 5 to 10mph, you would need at least 440,000 of these submarines.
Nik_2213
5 / 5 (1) Sep 30, 2010
Okay, say they try it and the storm zigs instead of zags: Can you see a queue of lawyers forming ??
_nigmatic10
not rated yet Sep 30, 2010
they'd have better luck dropping a few plane loads of bagged ice from the local gas station.
Branden520
not rated yet Sep 30, 2010
I wonder if they took into account that the COLD water will sink as soon as it hits the surface?

Also, because of the area of hurricanes, a small cool spot on the surface would more than likely weaken a small section of the hurricane. This would displace the pressure of that section and cause the rest of the hurricane to pivot around that point to some degree and could drastically alter the projected path of the hurricane.

This could be like the seeding efforts of the 50s and 60s.

Hey, lets test it on this hurricane obviously headed out to sea. Three days later, "Hurricane, unexplicably changes course towards land".

Don't mess with weather. It's too big for us to affect in a good way.
Quantum_Conundrum
not rated yet Sep 30, 2010
Branden520:

The stated quantity of water they are talking about is insignificant with respect to cyclone formation. It will have absolutely no effect on a hurricane.

I'd be interest to see what Dr. Jeff Masters on Wunderground has to say about it, but I'm pretty sure his analysis would be basicly the same as what I have stated above.
Mayday
not rated yet Sep 30, 2010
But you have to admit that the submarine angle has a certain panache.

However I previously did have the impression that Japan's educational system was better than this. I think they need some remedial work on comparative scales, cause and effect and all that.
smk9
1 / 5 (1) Sep 30, 2010
The hot water doesn't just go away - it's got to be cycled backwards from it's tendency - seems they would get more turbulence and a cold layer of water perse, and add that they add the heat from their motors to the water it just gets weirder and weirder... But we don't much understand how hurricanes get strong so this is taking more than a leap...
david_42
not rated yet Sep 30, 2010
Another problem is keeping the submarines at the proper depth while pumping. The reaction to moving 4000 tonnes of water per minute using a machine that only weights 16,000 tonnes (Ohio class SSBN) will make control difficult. Having driven subs for a few years, I can say that they have miserable handling under the best of conditions.
trekgeek1
not rated yet Sep 30, 2010
Yes, it sounds ridiculous but I'm sure they have some calculations on it. Some of the comments have cocktail napkin calculations done already. Do you think they can't do the same? I'm sure they wouldn't want to waste money. They probably have experts that know more than you on the subject. Perhaps hurricanes are powerful but also fragile when starting. Even a small disruption could propagate and prevent it from starting or building.
Sanescience
5 / 5 (1) Sep 30, 2010
Knowing the Japanese, they will probably suck some giant monster off the seafloor and it will destroy Tokyo.
CaptBarbados
not rated yet Oct 01, 2010
An excuse to manufacture submarines in peacetime?
CarolinaScotsman
not rated yet Oct 01, 2010
I'm just curious as to why the submarine picture illustrating this Japanese tech story is flying a Canadian flag.
Mayday
not rated yet Oct 01, 2010
Bingo-bango-bongo! CaptBarbados has hit the nail on the head!!! An absolutely brilliant deduction and I am sure you are 100% right! Case closed.
Sancho
not rated yet Oct 01, 2010
There were, what, four major hurricanes that traversed the Gulf before Katrina? I expect the cooling effect of these storms was far greater than anything achievable with mechanical pumps. ... The international dateline confuses me: Is it April 1 in Japan already?
Quantum_Conundrum
not rated yet Oct 01, 2010
There were, what, four major hurricanes that traversed the Gulf before Katrina? I expect the cooling effect of these storms was far greater than anything achievable with mechanical pumps. ... The international dateline confuses me: Is it April 1 in Japan already?


It was far greater than anything they could achieve.

It's completely inexcusable that anyone could be this incompetent.
StarDust21
not rated yet Oct 01, 2010
I thought Stephen hawking came up with that like 2 years ago
Husky
not rated yet Oct 03, 2010
Lets instead build those km high solartowers that was originally planned in the outback of australie, in the middle of the carabiean sea, a whole lot of them, above the warm eddy current breeding grounds of storms and suck Gigawatts of electricity from that environment, a solution that might actually pay for itselve, not only the billions in saved damage but also capture energy in the process
flying_finn
1 / 5 (1) Oct 03, 2010
Interesting idea. Money would be better spent in copying our haarp program instead.
knikiy
not rated yet Oct 03, 2010
Maybe they could figure out a way to use the "Great Pacific Garbage Patch" instead of submarines. Moving it around might be tricky.
Graeme
not rated yet Oct 05, 2010
An alternative would be to cover the ocean surface with a thin layer of something so the water does not evaporate, eg oil or thin plastic film. perhaps this could happen faster than 57000 square meters per hour.