Meteorological modification method and apparatus CIP
A method and apparatus for inhibiting or weakening the development of tropical cyclones by detecting the onset of tropical cyclonic activity using at least one storm tracking weather satellite and using at least one submerged modified nuclear powered submarine to pump cool subsurface water to cool the surface water in the area of such activity. The method and apparatus contemplate moving the submarine with the movement of the tropical cyclone as tracked by satellite with the objective that cooling activity is optimally positioned and unrelenting.
The present application is related to provisional application Ser. No. 60/220,186, filed Jul. 24, 2000 and utility application Ser. No. 09/901,717, filed Jul. 11, 2001 and claims the priority dates of those applications as to the common subject matter.BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
1. Field of the Invention
The present application relates to a meteorological modification method and apparatus for the alteration of certain meteorological phenomena. It particularly relates to a method and apparatus for inhibiting or even weakening the development of tropical storms or tropical cyclonic activity that often lead to the formation of hurricanes, typhoons, cyclones and the like. Incidentally, these are substantially identical meteorological phenomena that are given different names in different parts of the world. In the Atlantic Ocean and eastern Pacific Ocean and adjoining land masses, they are called hurricanes, in the western Pacific Ocean and adjoining land masses they are called typhoons, and in the Indian Ocean and adjoining land masses they are called cyclones. There are even names peculiar to a country, such as “willy-willy” in Australia and “baguio” in the Philippines.
2. Description of the Prior Art
The prior art has recognized there exist means to alter some meteorological phenomena. For example, the prior art cited in the parent application to this continuation in part application included the reference of Girden, U.S Pat. No. 4,245,475, which teaches both the modification of winds moving over water, and the upwelling of cold subsurface water to the surface of warmer water to achieve the phenomenon of altering meteorological events.
Similarly, Girden, U.S. Pat. No. 3,465,964 teaches the modification of winds blowing over water to control smog, and again teaches doing so by the upwelling of cold subsurface water to the ocean surface. And Girden, U.S. Pat. No. 3,683,627 teaches that the temperature of the surface of the ocean can be lowered by the upwelling of cold subsurface water, which is a crucial teaching in the context of the present invention. So also, does Girden, U.S. Pat. No. 4,355,513, which not only teaches the cooling of the surface of water using subsurface water, it teaches that a change on surface water temperature of only one to five degrees can cause winds to blow and gives examples occurring naturally such the coolness of San Francisco summers. Girden, U.S. Pat. No. 4,245,474 teaches pumping subsurface water to the surface and recites specific pumping rates. In column 8, lines 33 through 44, the rates and horsepower (H.P.) requirements for each of those rates are set forth. For example, in the context of the present invention, only one 250 H.P. pump, easily within the reach of the present apparatus, would produce 500,000 cubic feet per minute, 30 million cubic feet per hour and 720 million cubic feet in a 24 hour day. And that is just with one 250 H.P. pump. Finally, Bronicki, et al., U.S. Pat. No. 4,470,544 teaches cooling the surface of the sea using cooler deep water by pumping the cooler deep water to the surface, which is exactly what the present invention, in part, discloses and claims.
Beside the prior art in the form of patents, there exist a number of published articles about weather phenomena that constitute prior art in regards to the present invention. The first of these is an article by P. E. Lydolf on Weather and Climate, 11:132-137 published in 1985. Lydolf states unequivocally that a an ocean surface water temperature must exceed 80° F. (27° C.) in order for cyclonic storms to form, and that when the storm leaves the warm ocean surface such as by moving to higher latitudes, the storm loses its energy source and the wind speed rapidly drops. In other words, a colder than 80OF ocean surface will stop a cyclonic storm.
The second non-patent reference is an article by D. E. Ingmanson and W. J. Wallace in the fifth edition of Oceanography published also published in 1995. It states 9:144 that tropical cyclones are formed from thunderstorms of a tropical cloud cluster that must be above very warm water, the temperature of which must be above 26° C. (78° F.) and located close to the equator, but far enough away for the Coriolis effect to produce a vigorous eddy to give it rotational motion. It also states at 9:148-9 that a water temperature shift of only a degree or two in patches of the ocean may affect weather around the world. Another non-patent reference is a publication of 1997 entitled Weather Explained. On page 34 is confirmed that tropical cyclones are born only where the seas have a surface temperature of at least 80° F. and that a storm that leaves the area of warm seas dies out. And on page 80, it points out that warm seas are what encourages moist air to rise to form deep rain clouds, which of course is what are needed to form a tropical cyclone. Tropical cyclones feed on warm seawater, and die when deprived of it. The driving energy of tropical cyclones is primarily the heat of condensation, which results from rain that condenses from clouds formed from moisture evaporated from the very warm ocean surface water and then rose to colder temperatures aloft. Typically, the surface temperature of tropical oceans during the relevant season is 85° F. Finally, in 1999, W. K. Stevens in The Change in the Weather confirms that the warmer the sea surface, the more intense is the tropical cyclone.
Contrary to some aspects of the parent patent application, this continuation in part application does not assert the present invention can do anything to modify, minimize or terminate a tropical cyclone that has developed into a full blown hurricane, typhoon or cyclone. This application is addressed to modification of a tropical cyclone in its infancy, which in turn requires the operative apparatus be in the right place at the right time. Of course its purpose is ultimately to minimize the formation of hurricanes, but that must be accomplished before the tropical cyclone reaches anywhere near the strength of a hurricane.
Current scientific thinking is that there are things that can be done to affect the strength and path of tropical cyclones. The best example known to the present inventor is an article in the. October, 2004 Scientific American. Written by Atmospheric and Environmental Research (Lexington, Mass.) principal scientist and vice president for research and development Ross N. Hoffman, it proposes areas for future research, but outlines amazing results of computer models using simulated hurricanes based upon two real hurricanes, Andrew and Iniki.
What is significant in the context of this application is that Hoffman recognizes the validity of some of the important principles upon which the present invention is predicated. The first of these is that cyclonic storms are susceptible to minor changes in their initial conditions, such as ocean temperature. On page 71, Hoffman states: “A chaotic system [such as a hurricane] . . . is highly sensitive to initial conditions, so that seemingly insignificant, arbitrary inputs can have profound effects that lead quickly to unpredictable consequences. In the case of hurricanes, small changes in such features as the ocean's temperature . . . can strongly influence a hurricane's potential . . . power.” On page 75, Hoffman adds: “If it is true, as our results suggest, that small changes in the temperature in and around a hurricane can . . . slow its winds, the question becomes, How can such perturbations be achieved?” That is the question answered by the present invention if the cyclonic storm is still in its infancy and not yet near to being a hurricane.
Hoffman mentions a 1960's study described briefly in the parent application. Supported by the U.S. Government, the study involved research into methods of hurricane modification in a project called “Stormfury.” In this project, scientists seeded clouds with silver iodide in a number of hurricanes including: Esther (1961), Beulah (1963), Debbie (1969), and Ginger (1971). However, these efforts were unsuccessful or at least inconclusive, and the project was discontinued. Since that time, little if any work for inhibiting or weakening the formation of hurricanes has been reported in the published literature.
Most hurricanes that affect the East Coast of the U.S. start as “waves” coming off the West African Coast, or in the Gulf of Mexico. Tropical cyclones in the Gulf of Mexico have been known to intensify when passing over higher temperature water, and tropical cyclones in the eastern Pacific have diminished as they have passed over the cool water west of Baja Calif.
Similarly, the western south Atlantic adjacent to Brazil has never experienced hurricanes because the sea temperature there is too cold for the formation of storms.
While the development of a tropical cyclone can be detected in “real time” on weather satellites as early as when it becomes a tropical depression, to the present time there has been no practical way by which a relatively small input of energy will be effective to inhibit or weaken the development of a tropical cyclone. The notion of pumping cold subsurface water to the surface has been described in the prior art, but is not known to have been done using submerged nuclear powered submarines positioned and moved using data from weather satellites in synchronous orbit of the earth.SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
Bearing in mind the foregoing, it is a principal object of the present invention is to provide a method for inhibiting or weakening the development of tropical cyclones in their infancy.
Another principal object of the invention is to provide apparatus to inhibit or weaken the development of tropical cyclones in their infancy.
An additional object of the invention is to put together aspects of existing known technology, such as nuclear powered submarines, weather satellite storm tracking data, the notion of cold subsurface water being pumped to the ocean surface to affect meteorological phenomenon, and the effect of cold surface ocean water on tropical cyclones, in a combination previously unknown to inhibit or weaken the development of tropical cyclones in their infancy.
Another object of the invention is to spray cold subsurface water into the eye, eye wall and inner feeder bands of a tropical cyclone to cool them.
A further object of the invention is to make use of inexpensively modified and presently obsolete nuclear powered submarines that have an almost infinite power source and can stay submerged for months to achieve the socially worthy goal of inhibiting or weakening the development of tropical cyclones in their infancy.
Other objects and advantages of the present invention will become apparent to those skilled in the art upon reference to the following descriptions and the accompanying drawings.
In accordance with a primary aspect of the present invention, there is provided a method of inhibiting or weakening the development of tropical cyclones comprising the steps of detecting the onset of tropical cyclonic activity in a region of open warm water using storm tracking weather satellites, positioning one or more submerged modified nuclear submarines beneath surface of the ocean from which the incipient cyclonic activity is drawing its strength, i.e., the very warm ocean water surface, having the submarine pump cold subsurface water to the surface thus cooling the surface to inhibit or weaken the development of a tropical cyclone in its infancy, continuing to track any movement of the incipient cyclonic activity, and moving the submarine accordingly so that its ocean surface cooling activity is optimally positioned and unrelenting. Alternatively, the cold subsurface water can be sprayed into the tropical cyclone eye, eye wall and inner feeder bands to cool them.
In accordance with an alternate aspect of the present invention, the surface water is cooled by effecting a heat transfer between the warm surface water and the cool subsurface water by pumping the cool subsurface water to the surface. optionally, the cooler subsurface water be further chilled as it is pumped to the ocean surface.
The U.S. Navy has a number of nuclear submarines which have been retired from active duty and which could be inexpensively modified for use to inhibit or weaken the development of tropical cyclones in their infancy. Thus, the use of such submarines would enable implementation of the invention at relatively low cost and at a relatively early date.
According to another aspect of the present invention, therefore, there is a provided at least one submarine, which is/are inexpensively modified to include at least one high volume water pump. The water pump is equipped with an inlet conduit and an outlet conduit, the inlet conduit having an open end adapted to be exposed to the cool subsurface water, the outlet conduit having an open end adapted to be exposed to warm water at the ocean surface where the onset of tropical cyclonic activity has been detected. Preferably, a plurality of such submarines would be used. In one embodiment, the submarines would be deployed horizontally over an area of the ocean that encompassed substantially the entire area from which the tropical cyclone is drawing its warm water strength, or all on one side of a larger tropical depression to avoid closing the loop on the incipient tropical circulation, or they could be deployed vertically at different depths of the open water region with their water pumps coupled to a common vertically-extending water conduit.
The use of nuclear powered submarines for this purpose provides a number of advantages. They are now available, at least those that have become strategically or tactically obsolete. They would require relatively little cost and time to retrofit them for this purpose, they can be used for long periods of time without refueling, they can stay submerged for long periods of time and they are highly maneuverable so that the submarine can move with storm, or if a plurality of disturbances each indicating the onset of tropical cyclones in their infancy are detected within a short period of time, the submarines can be maneuvered as required to immediately act to inhibit or weaken the development of the tropical cyclones according to the above-described method.BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
Various other features of the invention will become apparent to those skilled in the art from the following discussion taken in conjunction with the appended drawings, in which:
As required, detailed embodiments of the present invention are disclosed herein; however, it is to be understood that the disclosed embodiments are merely exemplary of the invention which may be embodied in various forms. Therefore, specific structural and functional details disclosed herein are not to be interpreted as limiting, but merely as a basis for the claims and as a representative basis for teaching one skilled in the art to variously employ the present invention in virtually any appropriately detailed structure.
Reference is now made to the drawings, wherein like characteristics and features of the present invention shown in the various figures are designated by the same reference numerals.
As indicated earlier, the present invention inhibits or weakens the development of tropical cyclones in their infancy by cooling the surface water in the ocean upon the detection of same in real time by storm tracking weather satellites. The use of nuclear powered submarines offers a practical way of cooling the ocean surface water immediately upon the detection of the onset of tropical cyclone activity.
When pump 12 is operated, the subsurface cold water 28 is pumped to the water surface 22, thereby cooling the water at the water surface 22, such that if the onset of tropical cyclonic activity is detected sufficiently early, the cooling of the surface water may be sufficient to inhibit, or at least weaken, the development of a tropical cyclone.
The water pump 12 included in the submarine 10 may also be provided with a heat pump or refrigeration unit for further cooling of the cold water inletted via conduit 16 and outletted via conduit 18. The heat generated by the operation of the water pump 12, or extracted by the operation of a heat pump when included, can be used within the submarine, or can be vented to the water below the submarine, or to the air atmosphere above the submarine.
While the invention has been described with respect to several preferred embodiments, it will be appreciated that these are set forth merely for purposes of illustrating the main features of the present invention, and that many variations may be made. For example, a submarine may be provided with more than one pump 12 and appropriate conduits 16, 18, e.g., one at each end, and one or more in between. In addition, the warm water at the surface may be cooled by merely pumping it through a refrigeration unit in the submarine. One or more submarines could be equipped with, or modified to serve as, a large refrigeration unit for quickly cooling the surface water. The submarines can also be used to detect conditions, such as water temperatures, wind flow rate, barometric pressure, etc., serving as predictors for tropical cyclone development.
Once again, while the invention has been described, disclosed, illustrated and shown in various terms or certain embodiments or modifications, the scope of the invention is not intended to be, nor should it be deemed to be, limited thereby and such other modifications or embodiments as may be suggested by the teachings herein are particularly reserved especially as they fall within the breadth and scope of the claims here appended.
1. A method of inhibiting or weakening the development of a tropical cyclone at its infancy, comprising:
- detecting the onset of tropical cyclonic activity over warm surface water;
- positioning at least one submarine beneath the tropical cyclonic activity; and
- pumping cool subsurface water to cool the surface water using a submarine.
2. The method of claim 1, wherein the surface water is cooled by effecting heat transfer between the surface water and the subsurface water.
3. The method of claim 1, wherein said cool subsurface water is chilled to a lower temperature as it is pumped to the surface.
4. The method of claim 1, wherein said submarine is a nuclear powered submarine.
5. The method of claim 1, wherein the surface water is cooled by a plurality of submarines.
6. The method of claim 5, wherein said plurality of submarines are deployed substantially horizontally over an entire area where the onset of tropical cyclonic activity is detected.
7. The method of claim 5, wherein the plurality of submarines are deployed vertically at different depths in the water, and their water pumps are coupled to a common vertically-extending water conduit.
8. The method of claim 1, wherein the onset of tropical cyclonic activity is detected by at least one storm tracking weather satellite.
9. The method of claim 1 which further comprises spraying the cool subsurface water into a tropical cyclone eye, eye wall and inner feeder bands to cool them.
10. An apparatus for inhibiting or weakening the development of a tropical cyclone at its infancy, comprising:
- a submarine having a water pump with an inlet conduit and an outlet conduit;
- the inlet conduit having an open end adapted to be exposed to cool subsurface water;
- the outlet conduit having an open end adapted to be exposed to warm water at the water surface where the onset of tropical cyclonic activity is detected; and
- the water pump being constructed to pump the cool subsurface water to cool the surface water.
11. The apparatus of claim 10, wherein the submarine is a nuclear powered submarine.
12. The apparatus of claim 10 wherein the submarine also includes a heat pump for chilling the cool subsurface water as it is pumped to the water surface.
13. The apparatus of claim 10, wherein the inlet and outlet conduits are flexible large diameter hoses to permit them to be flattened to facilitate making them extensible from the submarine and retractable within the submarine.
14. The apparatus of claim 10, wherein the open end of the outlet conduit includes a float to enable the open end to float to its operative position on the water surface.
15. The apparatus of claim 10, wherein the open end of the inlet conduit includes a weight to enable the open end to descend by its weight to the cold subsurface water.
16. The apparatus of claim 10, which further comprises a spray nozzle attached to the open end of the outlet conduit to spray the cold subsurface water into a tropical cyclone eye, eye wall and inner feeder bands to cool them.
Filed: Jan 4, 2005
Publication Date: Jun 23, 2005
Inventor: Herbert Uram (Long Key, FL)
Application Number: 11/028,968