Re: Mother nature

Michael S. Lorrey (
Wed, 15 Sep 1999 20:15:39 -0400

David Lubkin wrote:
> Watching the storms heading up the coast reminded me of the old science
> fiction dream of weather control. Assuming that we keep this planet, and
> people still want to live on it, the weather will still be a factor in a nanotech,
> space-faring, AI/IA future, as will earthquakes, volcanos, etc.
> Given quadrillions of sensors and lots of computational power, how far in
> advance can we predict severe or extreme weather and seismic events?

We are pretty good with volcanos, not very good with earthquakes, and pretty good with extreme weather.

> How can we divert or dissipate them?

Why would we want to? As far as I see they serve a very useful evolutionary purpose:
They help scour away all those trailer parks and poorly built waterfront
property, ugly city structures, etc. Stupidity is a capital crime.

> The only idea I've ever heard is somehow using strategically placed, low-yield,
> clean nuclear weapons, either for earthquakes or for tsunamis. What would
> happen if you sent a terawatt power beam from orbit to the eye of a
> hurricane?

you would likely amplify its severity. Hurricanes and tsunamis feed off of heat.. Now, if you could cool things down, that would be a help.

> Can we use our advanced warning and automatically move all
> structures out of range? Are there natural planetary forces strong enough to
> damage a diamondoid beanstalk?

I don't think so.

> Beyond dealing with crises, can we have true weather control? How?
> With how fine a resolution in space and in time?

Using lasers and other high energy beams we could tweak weather in various areas, like we could have heated up the Pacific earlier this year when La Nina showed up, and that would have helped abate the hurricane season here, but generally severe El Nino and La Nina are good for the US, we get more rain in western areas, not so much elsewhere.

Mike Lorrey