Scientists a step closer to steering hurricanes
By Tim Shipman in Washington
Last Updated: 1:07am BST 21/10/2007
Scientists have made a breakthrough in man's desire to control the forces of nature – unveiling plans to weaken hurricanes and steer them off course, to prevent tragedies such as Hurricane Katrina.
The damage done to New Orleans in 2005 has spurred two rival teams of climate experts, in America and Israel, to redouble their efforts to enable people to play God with the weather.
Under one scheme, aircraft would drop soot into the near-freezing cloud at the top of a hurricane, causing it to warm up and so reduce wind speeds. Computer simulations of the forces at work in the most violent storms have shown that even small changes can affect their paths – enabling them to be diverted from major cities.