Welcome!

Containers Expo Blog Authors: Liz McMillan, Pat Romanski, Yeshim Deniz, Elizabeth White, Zakia Bouachraoui

News Feed Item

Marine cloud brightening could help weaken hurricanes like Sandy

Research study finds a technique for cooling the ocean surface may weaken forming hurricanes and reduce associated damage

SAN FRANCISCO, Dec. 6, 2012  /PRNewswire/ -- In a recent study, atmospheric scientists from the National Center for Atmospheric Research in the US, and the Universities of Manchester, Leeds and Edinburgh, UK, found that cooling ocean surfaces by brightening clouds with a sea-salt spray mist ("Marine Cloud Brightening") could reduce the intensity of hurricanes. It is possible that the largest hurricanes and hybrid storms could be prevented, saving billions in damage and preventing the associated loss of life.

(Photo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20121206/SF25756 )

Cool the ocean surface to weaken storms when as they form
The study, Weakening Of Hurricanes Via Marine Cloud Brightening, published in the British journal Atmospheric Science Letters, uses computer models to study the potential effects of cooling the ocean surface waters in regions where hurricanes spawn and start to develop. Since heat from ocean surface waters supplies hurricanes with their energy for growth, a reduction in ocean surface water temperature in the places hurricanes start to develop leads to weaker hurricanes with lower wind-speeds – storms that would cause less damage. 

Cool the ocean surface by brightening the clouds above
Thin, low-level clouds (called stratocumulus) cover vast areas of the oceans. They affect climate strongly because they bounce back into space about half the sunlight that lands on them. If the clouds weren't there the Earth would be much warmer. These clouds also cool the ocean surface waters below them. Like a white umbrella, the brighter these clouds, the more sunlight they reflect away from the water, causing it to cool.

Brighten clouds with sea-salt mist
The idea proposed by the researchers is to increase the reflectivity of the stratocumulus clouds above ocean surface waters by misting them with large quantities of tiny salt-particles (of about one-millionth of a meter in size). These tiny salt particles enter the cloud and cause new small cloud droplets to form on them, increasing the overall number of drops in the cloud, which increases the reflective areas for sunlight to bounce from, brightening the cloud. The process mimics the effect in nature of small particles of sea mist rising from foaming sea caps to infuse clouds.

The salt mist can be generated and delivered using devices mounted on ships that sail underneath the clouds. 

Reduce the force of hurricanes
Modeling effects using one of the world's most highly regarded global climate models, the climate ocean atmosphere coupling model (HadGEM1), researchers found that misting a modest area of clouds over selected ocean surface areas could reduce the average sea-surface temperature by two or three degrees centigrade, and decrease the intensity of hurricanes that form in the region by one or two categories, indicating that if this can be done, hurricane force, and related damage, could be greatly reduced.



Other applications
Researchers are also studying Marine Cloud Brightening for applications that include helping to preserve coral reefs, increasing precipitation in dry regions, preserving arctic ice and helping to lower or maintain global average temperature as a counter to warming forces.

Recommendations 
The researchers recommend additional studies, including small localized field tests of sea-salt misting effects on clouds, to advance understanding of the feasibility and risks of these approaches. Lead researcher and theorist Professor John Latham of NCAR states, "it is our hope that we can advance understanding of what may in future be possible, but we do not advocate anything beyond research until there is a far greater understanding of these local climate systems, the effects of these techniques and, most importantly, their risks."  

The researchers also state that the type of controlled field experiments that would be most valuable to research on mitigating hurricanes are likely to produce large improvements to the accuracy of climate models, since clouds, while having large effects on climate, are not well represented.

Authors:
John Latham, National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, CO: and also
University of Manchester, UK.
Ben Parkes, National Center for Atmospheric Sciences, University of Leeds, UK.
Alan Gadian, National Center for Atmospheric Sciences, University of Leeds, UK.
Stephen Salter, Dept of Engineering, University of Edinburgh, UK.

Press Contact:
Kelly Wanser[email protected], 415-734-6790

SOURCE Atmospheric Science Letters

More Stories By PR Newswire

Copyright © 2007 PR Newswire. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of PRNewswire content is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of PRNewswire. PRNewswire shall not be liable for any errors or delays in the content, or for any actions taken in reliance thereon.

IoT & Smart Cities Stories
The deluge of IoT sensor data collected from connected devices and the powerful AI required to make that data actionable are giving rise to a hybrid ecosystem in which cloud, on-prem and edge processes become interweaved. Attendees will learn how emerging composable infrastructure solutions deliver the adaptive architecture needed to manage this new data reality. Machine learning algorithms can better anticipate data storms and automate resources to support surges, including fully scalable GPU-c...
Machine learning has taken residence at our cities' cores and now we can finally have "smart cities." Cities are a collection of buildings made to provide the structure and safety necessary for people to function, create and survive. Buildings are a pool of ever-changing performance data from large automated systems such as heating and cooling to the people that live and work within them. Through machine learning, buildings can optimize performance, reduce costs, and improve occupant comfort by ...
The explosion of new web/cloud/IoT-based applications and the data they generate are transforming our world right before our eyes. In this rush to adopt these new technologies, organizations are often ignoring fundamental questions concerning who owns the data and failing to ask for permission to conduct invasive surveillance of their customers. Organizations that are not transparent about how their systems gather data telemetry without offering shared data ownership risk product rejection, regu...
René Bostic is the Technical VP of the IBM Cloud Unit in North America. Enjoying her career with IBM during the modern millennial technological era, she is an expert in cloud computing, DevOps and emerging cloud technologies such as Blockchain. Her strengths and core competencies include a proven record of accomplishments in consensus building at all levels to assess, plan, and implement enterprise and cloud computing solutions. René is a member of the Society of Women Engineers (SWE) and a m...
Poor data quality and analytics drive down business value. In fact, Gartner estimated that the average financial impact of poor data quality on organizations is $9.7 million per year. But bad data is much more than a cost center. By eroding trust in information, analytics and the business decisions based on these, it is a serious impediment to digital transformation.
Digital Transformation: Preparing Cloud & IoT Security for the Age of Artificial Intelligence. As automation and artificial intelligence (AI) power solution development and delivery, many businesses need to build backend cloud capabilities. Well-poised organizations, marketing smart devices with AI and BlockChain capabilities prepare to refine compliance and regulatory capabilities in 2018. Volumes of health, financial, technical and privacy data, along with tightening compliance requirements by...
Predicting the future has never been more challenging - not because of the lack of data but because of the flood of ungoverned and risk laden information. Microsoft states that 2.5 exabytes of data are created every day. Expectations and reliance on data are being pushed to the limits, as demands around hybrid options continue to grow.
Digital Transformation and Disruption, Amazon Style - What You Can Learn. Chris Kocher is a co-founder of Grey Heron, a management and strategic marketing consulting firm. He has 25+ years in both strategic and hands-on operating experience helping executives and investors build revenues and shareholder value. He has consulted with over 130 companies on innovating with new business models, product strategies and monetization. Chris has held management positions at HP and Symantec in addition to ...
Enterprises have taken advantage of IoT to achieve important revenue and cost advantages. What is less apparent is how incumbent enterprises operating at scale have, following success with IoT, built analytic, operations management and software development capabilities - ranging from autonomous vehicles to manageable robotics installations. They have embraced these capabilities as if they were Silicon Valley startups.
As IoT continues to increase momentum, so does the associated risk. Secure Device Lifecycle Management (DLM) is ranked as one of the most important technology areas of IoT. Driving this trend is the realization that secure support for IoT devices provides companies the ability to deliver high-quality, reliable, secure offerings faster, create new revenue streams, and reduce support costs, all while building a competitive advantage in their markets. In this session, we will use customer use cases...