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Oil on troubled waters may stop hurricanes
New Scientist ^ | 7/25/05 | Zeeya Merali

Posted on 07/25/2005 4:36:38 PM PDT by LibWhacker

Sailors who traditionally dumped barrels of oil into the sea to calm stormy waters may have been on to something, a new study suggests. The old practice reduces wind speeds in tropical hurricanes by damping ocean spray, according to a new mathematical “sandwich model”.

As hurricane winds kick up ocean waves, large water droplets become suspended in the air. This cloud of spray can be treated mathematically as a third fluid sandwiched between the air and sea. “Our calculations show that drops in the spray decrease turbulence and reduce friction, allowing for far greater wind speeds – sometimes eight times as much,” explains researcher Alexandre Chorin at the University of California at Berkeley, US.

He believes the findings shed light on an age-old sea ritual. “Ancient mariners poured oil on troubled waters – hence the expression – but it was never very clear what this accomplished,” says Chorin. Since oil inhibits the formation of drops, Chorin thinks the strategy would have increased the drag in the air and successfully decreased the intensity of the squalls.

Preventing hurricanes

The researchers suggest that, during a tropical storm, aeroplanes could deliver harmless surfactants to the ocean surface – reducing surface tension in water and stopping droplets from forming – perhaps preventing a hurricane developing.

But some climate physicists remain unconvinced. “I am very doubtful about this approach,” says Julian Hunt at University College London, UK. He has studied turbulence both theoretically and in the laboratory and thinks that the high wind speeds are caused by an entirely different mechanism.

In a paper submitted this month to the Journal of Fluid Dynamics, Hunt suggests that variations in the turbulence between different regions of the hurricane cause sharp jumps in wind speed.

Chorin stresses that his team has not carried out experimental tests on the application of this work with tropical storms, but feels that it could be explored in the future.


TOPICS: News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: ancient; hurricanes; lore; mariners; model; ocean; oil; reduce; sailors; sandwich; speed; spray; turbulence; water; wind

1 posted on 07/25/2005 4:36:39 PM PDT by LibWhacker
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To: LibWhacker

wont work The vadez tried it


2 posted on 07/25/2005 4:39:19 PM PDT by al baby (Father of the Beeber)
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To: al baby

Reduces wind speed, not the blood alcohol content of the captain! :-)


3 posted on 07/25/2005 4:40:38 PM PDT by LibWhacker
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To: LibWhacker

It'll never see the light of day.... Too many greenies have forced oil companies/tankers to spend literally BILLIONS to protect the enviroment from that nasty oil.

(Same nasty oil that bubbles up naturally from the ocean bed, btw.)


4 posted on 07/25/2005 4:43:50 PM PDT by Humidston (Hillary's Full Name - EVITA PEYRONie's CLINTON)
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To: Nightshift; NautiNurse; Gabz; Howlin

Interesting approach to stopping storms. I remember last year some guy was going to fly over a cane and drop a bunch of miniscule sponges (something like that, memory not so great). It would be nice to find a way to tame the hurricanes but I'm not holding my breath.


5 posted on 07/25/2005 4:44:48 PM PDT by tutstar ( <{{--->< OurFlorida.true.ws Impeach Judge Greer)
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To: LibWhacker

Benjamin Franklin noted this back in the 18th century. He devised a parlor trick where he dipped his cane (that contained an amount of oil in it) into turbulent water and calmed it.


6 posted on 07/25/2005 4:45:27 PM PDT by narby (There are Bloggers, and then there are Freepers.)
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To: LibWhacker

Imagine the first day someone deliberately spills a 55 gallon drum overboard in sight of Greenpeace. The hysteria that then extends to the MSM.


7 posted on 07/25/2005 4:46:02 PM PDT by theDentist (The Dems have put all their eggs in one basket-case: Howard "Belltower" Dean.)
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To: LibWhacker

Do not toy with the awesome power of surface tension.


8 posted on 07/25/2005 4:46:48 PM PDT by RightWhale (Substance is essentially the relationship of accidents to itself)
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To: al baby
wont work The vadez tried it

Are you nuts? The only calm seas after vadez (I presume you meant Exxon Valdez) were the ones covered by oil.

9 posted on 07/25/2005 4:48:50 PM PDT by konaice
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To: konaice

thanks you found the L


10 posted on 07/25/2005 4:50:01 PM PDT by al baby (Father of the Beeber)
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Comment #11 Removed by Moderator

To: Humidston
It'll never see the light of day.... Too many greenies have forced oil companies/tankers to spend literally BILLIONS to protect the enviroment from that nasty oil.

Are you saying they ~shouldn't~?

Yes, lets trade nice beaches for oil slicks on some kind of foolish scheme to tame hurricanes. This sounds like a preposterous idea.

12 posted on 07/25/2005 4:52:02 PM PDT by HairOfTheDog
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To: LibWhacker

Oil was meant to keep waves from breaking around the vessel, at a time when a breaking wave could swamp a boat and sink it. It also reduced the amount of "wavelets", or waves generated within a larger swell that could knock a small boat around.


13 posted on 07/25/2005 4:52:11 PM PDT by SlowBoat407 (A living affront to Islam since 1959)
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To: LibWhacker

So Berkeley, which has nothing to worry about from hurricanes has suddenly decided that they have the solution.

This is a bad idea and it won't work, for starters, before a hurricane arrives in any given area, the sea will be churned up in advance of it's arrival, and that would help to dissipate the oil slick somewhat.

Not to mention, there is not enough oil on the planet to make this work for one storm, much less storms on a regular basis.

They need to take this zany scheme and file it in the same folder that the idea of exploding nuclear bombs in hurricanes has managed to find itself.


14 posted on 07/25/2005 4:53:15 PM PDT by AzaleaCity5691 (The enemy lies in the heart of Gadsden)
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To: narby

Greenpeace be damned! If it was good enough for Franklin, it's good enough for us. I think we should try it; i.e., create a huge oil slick, of Exxon Valdez proportions, in the path of the next hurricane, and see what happens.


15 posted on 07/25/2005 4:56:10 PM PDT by LibWhacker
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To: HairOfTheDog
"The researchers suggest that, during a tropical storm, aeroplanes could deliver harmless surfactants to the ocean surface – reducing surface tension in water and stopping droplets from forming – perhaps preventing a hurricane developing."

They aren't talking about dumping oil into the ocean, it's too damn expensive! ;-)

16 posted on 07/25/2005 4:58:11 PM PDT by Normal4me (I'm sweating like a muslim wearing a backpack on a London subway!)
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To: LibWhacker

If they use VEGETABLE OIL the Greenies won't be able to complain now, will they?!? Hmmmmm?


17 posted on 07/25/2005 4:59:12 PM PDT by ikka
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To: Normal4me

True enough... I think it's preposterous anyhow... just because of the scale involved.


18 posted on 07/25/2005 4:59:24 PM PDT by HairOfTheDog
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To: HairOfTheDog

I'm not saying whether or not it might work. I'm saying I think I'd rather have oil on my beach (if it proved workable) than no beach at all.

I have friends in Florida who have no beach today, thanks to Dennis. And if the state can't restore the land under their homes, they'll lose everything...

http://photosflorida.com/images/dennis


19 posted on 07/25/2005 5:00:19 PM PDT by Humidston (Hillary's Full Name - EVITA PEYRONie's CLINTON)
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To: LibWhacker
aeroplanes could deliver harmless surfactants

And 20 years from now, when the dolphins start dying, and after spending billions in research to discover why, they'll determine the dolphins are allergic to the buildup of surfactants in their bodies.

Kinda like MTBE and skin cancer.

20 posted on 07/25/2005 5:01:38 PM PDT by upchuck ("If our nation be destroyed, it would be from the judiciary." ~ Thomas Jefferson)
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To: LibWhacker

“The researchers suggest that, during a tropical storm, aeroplanes could deliver harmless surfactants to the ocean surface – reducing surface tension in water and stopping droplets from forming – perhaps preventing a hurricane developing.”


This is by far the dumbest thing I have read in a long time. If it weren’t for hurricanes, Central America would be as dry as desert.

Who is this knucklehead Zeeya Merali?


21 posted on 07/25/2005 5:03:10 PM PDT by Gatún(CraigIsaMangoTreeLawyer)
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To: ikka

How about cod liver oil?


22 posted on 07/25/2005 5:03:13 PM PDT by Sam Cree (Democrats are herd animals)
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To: Humidston

Well, we got a sand storm heading our way from Africa, maybe that'll help out your friends. ;-)


23 posted on 07/25/2005 5:03:18 PM PDT by Normal4me (I'm sweating like a muslim wearing a backpack on a London subway!)
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To: Normal4me

Hmmmm... (scratching chin)... I wonder how much that would cost? ;-)


24 posted on 07/25/2005 5:06:50 PM PDT by Humidston (Hillary's Full Name - EVITA PEYRONie's CLINTON)
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To: ikka

Maybe we could get Jane Fonda's bus to veer into the ocean.


25 posted on 07/25/2005 5:08:59 PM PDT by Nachoman
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To: Humidston

Only problem is that you have to coat the remaining beach with oil so the new sand sticks to it. :-)


26 posted on 07/25/2005 5:11:15 PM PDT by Normal4me (I'm sweating like a muslim wearing a backpack on a London subway!)
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To: Humidston

The beach is a constantly changing place. The sands come and go. That's life. The state trying to stop it or fix it sounds as unrealistic as pissing on a forest fire.


27 posted on 07/25/2005 5:12:46 PM PDT by HairOfTheDog
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To: LibWhacker

"it was never clear what this accomplished"
Really bad researchers. Open a damn book and read.
Sea anchors (drogues) for life boats had a container that dripped oil (vegetable oil) that came to the surface and calmed the spray and sea around the lifeboat.


28 posted on 07/25/2005 5:14:19 PM PDT by Cold Heart
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To: Gatún(CraigIsaMangoTreeLawyer)

Hi,Gatún!... I wonder if it's the case that heat would still flow away from equatorial regions toward the poles -- just not in the form of hurricanes?


29 posted on 07/25/2005 5:31:17 PM PDT by LibWhacker
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To: LibWhacker
Bwahahaha. I think we just found the answer to all those hippies saying that global warming causes hurricanes: MORE OIL!!
30 posted on 07/25/2005 5:32:52 PM PDT by varyouga
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To: HairOfTheDog

Do you seriously believe all the billions in property damage along the shore should just be chalked up to "easy come easy go?"

Are you a greenie perchance?

I don't have a dog in that race, but IF there might be a method of reducing the danger of a hurricane, I'd bet dollars to donuts that people along the path would be willing to try to mitigate the billions of property damage they suffer in its wake.


31 posted on 07/25/2005 5:42:18 PM PDT by Humidston (Hillary's Full Name - EVITA PEYRONie's CLINTON)
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To: Normal4me

" The state trying to stop it or fix it sounds as unrealistic as pissing on a forest fire."

And about as smart as pissing on an electric fence.


32 posted on 07/25/2005 5:51:33 PM PDT by Rebelbase (Mexico, the 51st state.)
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To: Humidston

Your friends should move to a place where mother nature is more predictable.


33 posted on 07/25/2005 5:53:54 PM PDT by Rebelbase (Mexico, the 51st state.)
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To: Humidston

Well, good luck with that. :~D I mean it!


34 posted on 07/25/2005 5:58:43 PM PDT by HairOfTheDog
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To: Jeremiah Jr; Lijahsbubbe; the-ironically-named-proverbs2
He believes the findings shed light on an age-old sea ritual. “Ancient mariners poured oil on troubled waters – hence the expression – but it was never very clear what this accomplished,” says Chorin. Since oil inhibits the formation of drops, Chorin thinks the strategy would have increased the drag in the air and successfully decreased the intensity of the squalls.

Jonah 1:1-5

1 Now the word of the LORD came unto Jonah the son of Amittai, saying,
2 Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and cry against it; for their wickedness is come up before me.
3 But Jonah rose up to flee unto Tarshish from the presence of the LORD, and went down to Joppa; and he found a ship going to Tarshish: so he paid the fare thereof, and went down into it, to go with them unto Tarshish from the presence of the LORD.
4 But the LORD sent out a great wind into the sea, and there was a mighty tempest in the sea, so that the ship was like to be broken.
5 Then the mariners were afraid, and cried every man unto his god, and cast forth the wares that were in the ship into the sea, to lighten it of them. But Jonah was gone down into the sides of the ship; and he lay, and was fast asleep.

Hmmm...

35 posted on 07/25/2005 6:00:27 PM PDT by Thinkin' Gal
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To: LibWhacker

Hey LibWhacker,

“I wonder if it's the case that heat would still flow away from equatorial regions toward the poles -- just not in the form of hurricanes?”

I wish I were, but unfortunately I’m not a weather expert. All I can assert is that we need to have those hurricanes coming across the Atlantic. I know when there is turmoil brewing out there because rain clouds come out of the Pacific and dump rain on Panama. While it’s bad for those islands out there in the Atlantic and for parts of the US, it’s good for us.

Dry season hits us about the middle to the end of December and rainy season begins again around the end of March. I really dislike dry season. It’s hot and everything turns brown except the trees and the jungle. (Watering the lawn has never been a practice here.) If dry season lasts too long, cattle die for lack of pasture (grass).

Regards,

Gatún


36 posted on 07/25/2005 6:01:23 PM PDT by Gatún(CraigIsaMangoTreeLawyer)
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To: al baby

Without the "l," you would have been "a baby."

Makes a heck of a lot of difference, eh?

;-)


37 posted on 07/25/2005 6:04:10 PM PDT by bannie (The government which robs Peter to pay Paul can always depend upon the support of Paul.)
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To: Nachoman
Maybe we could get Jane Fonda's bus to veer into the ocean.

snicker...

38 posted on 07/25/2005 6:05:22 PM PDT by bannie (The government which robs Peter to pay Paul can always depend upon the support of Paul.)
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To: LibWhacker

Okay, how many square miles does the average tropical storm cover? And how much oil would be needed to cover that area? We're talking probably hundreds of square miles to cover with oil in an effort to keep it from becoming a hurricane. You won't need a plane, you'd likely need an entire airline to do so.


39 posted on 07/25/2005 6:06:09 PM PDT by Starter
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To: Nachoman; bannie
Maybe we could get Jane Fonda's bus to veer into the ocean.

Don't snicker...could happen if a certain Massachusetts senator comes along as an adviser and kinda just takes the wheel for a bit.

40 posted on 07/25/2005 6:14:01 PM PDT by ErnBatavia
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To: Starter

The radius of maximum winds around the eye can be pretty small. Even then, though, you're talking over 1000 square miles.


41 posted on 07/25/2005 6:14:04 PM PDT by Sam Cree (Democrats are herd animals)
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To: ErnBatavia

You're right. That senator only allows the useful idiots to suck air as long as they are not inconvenient idiots.


42 posted on 07/25/2005 6:16:50 PM PDT by bannie (The government which robs Peter to pay Paul can always depend upon the support of Paul.)
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To: LibWhacker
POLLUTION SAVES LIVES!

lol...just waitin' to hear the libs go nuts over this one! BWA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA!

43 posted on 07/25/2005 6:17:49 PM PDT by Recovering_Democrat (I'm so glad to no longer be associated with the Party of Dependence on Government!)
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To: Rebelbase
Your friends should move to a place where mother nature is more predictable.

Like Texas or North Carolina perchance?? Dang! That's tough language, my FRiend.

44 posted on 07/25/2005 6:17:56 PM PDT by Humidston (Hillary's Full Name - EVITA PEYRONie's CLINTON)
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To: HairOfTheDog
;-)
45 posted on 07/25/2005 6:19:20 PM PDT by Humidston (Hillary's Full Name - EVITA PEYRONie's CLINTON)
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To: ErnBatavia

"could happen if a certain Massachusetts senator comes along as an adviser and kinda just takes the wheel for a bit."

He probably still has that old neck brace put away for such an event. Oh wait. It probably wouldn't fit him any more. He would now need to use an XXXXX Hippopotamus Size.


46 posted on 07/25/2005 6:27:30 PM PDT by Gatún(CraigIsaMangoTreeLawyer)
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To: ikka

"If they use VEGETABLE OIL the Greenies won't be able to complain now, will they?!? Hmmmmm?"

Better yet, they could use whale oil. It is all natural, biodegradable, and comes from the sea.


47 posted on 07/25/2005 6:50:29 PM PDT by Chewbacca (My car gets 40 rods to the hogshead, and thats the way I like it!)
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To: al baby
wont work The vadez tried it

Whadda you talking about, have you heard of any hurricanes in the Gulf of Alaska?

48 posted on 07/25/2005 8:30:05 PM PDT by Mike Darancette (Mesocons for Rice '08)
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To: LibWhacker

Dueling arm chairs.


49 posted on 07/25/2005 10:53:49 PM PDT by ApplegateRanch (The world needs more work horses, and fewer Jackasses!)
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To: Chewbacca

How about baby oil?


50 posted on 07/26/2005 7:55:29 AM PDT by al baby (Father of the Beeber)
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