A Study in Infra-Red
Part nineteen – Herding Hurricanes
“Fee Fi Fo Fum
Ask not whence the thunder comes
Ask not where the birds have gone
For between heaven and earth is a perilous place.
Home to a fearsome giant race.
Who hunger to conquer the mortals below
Waiting for the seeds of revenge to grow.”
The mightiest of storms are formed where the waters are warmest. But what happens when waters are warmer everywhere?
In this part we shall see how the geoengineers are nurturing unprecedented perfect storms and hurricanes of ever greater intensity and frequency, brewed from oceans transformed by Phil-anthropogenic Global Warming into giant heat reservoirs.
What would be the purpose of such activities?
Before we can answer that, we must first answer another question.
What is a Hurricane?
A hurricane is an organized system of thunderstorms that forms over tropical waters. For a hurricane to develop, the sea surface must have a temperature of at least 26 C. To move from tropical storm to hurricane status requires winds of 74 mph or above. They are formed in the hottest parts of the world, the Tropics. Air heated by solar radiation rises swiftly, creating areas of very low pressure beneath. As the warm air rises, it becomes loaded with moisture which condenses into massive thunder-clouds releasing vast quantities of latent heat. This latent heat is what drives the Hadley cell and the trade winds. This condensation is made possible because of natural cloud condensation nuclei made up of salt, micro-organisms and other particles. Cool air rushes in to feed the void that is left. This is known as pressure-gradient force. Because of the constant turning of the Earth on its axis. The air is bent inwards and then spirals up with great force. If these high altitude (30,000 feet/ 9,000m) winds don’t blow at uniform speeds at all levels, wind shears are present and the storm becomes disorganized and weakens.
If it continues spiraling at uniform speed up to those higher altitudes, the storm remains organized and strengthens. The swirling winds rotate faster and faster, forming a huge circle which can be up to 2,000 km across.
Even higher in the atmosphere (above 30,000 feet / 9,000 metres) high-pressure air is drawn downward into the storm's low pressure centre, increasing the wind speeds still further.
Between 80 and 100 tropical storms develop each year globally. Around half of these eventually achieve hurricane status.
The hurricane moves first in a westward direction with the trade winds, but as the storm spins, anti-clockwise in the northern hemisphere, it slides away from the equator and is usually deflected in a parabolic curve eastwards.
The hurricane feeds on warm, moist air and the latent heat released from condensation and it will continue to grow until it is denied this sustenance. As it moves over higher latitudes and cooler waters, the pressure gradient is reduced and the storm weakens to an extratropical cyclone that normally dissipates in a matter of days.
If it makes landfall, then dissipation occurs at an even greater rate as the storm runs out of fuel but not before a potentially great amount of damage is caused.
This damage can take the form of torrential downpours of rain and the flooding that ensues. Flooding is also caused by the storm surge resulting from the dome of water, created by low pressure, that inundates the shoreline, particularly at high-tide.
The incredible winds generated also cause damage on a massive scale to man-made and natural structures alike. Even tornadoes can be spawned from the hurricane.
As a hurricane dissipates it becomes a tropical storm and an extra-tropical storm as it leaves the tropics.
Under a phil-anthropogenically warming world, storms, whether reaching hurricane status or not, grow in intensity and track further north.
“Scientists have found support for the controversial idea that global warming is causing more frequent and destructive hurricanes, a subject that has been hotly debated during the past decade.”
“Powerful, destructive tropical cyclones are now reaching their peak intensity farther from the equator and closer to the poles, according to a new study. The results of the study show that over the last 30 years, tropical cyclones -- also known as hurricanes or typhoons -- are moving poleward at a rate of about 33 miles per decade in the Northern Hemisphere and 38 miles per decade in the Southern Hemisphere.”
Despite the prolonged “drought” of major hurricanes hitting the US coast, and the lack of a clear trend in the frequency of tropical cyclones globally, in the North Atlantic there has been a 40% increases in frequency since the 1950s.
In addition to frequency, there is a broad consensus that tropical storms are growing in intensity:
“Here, the science is far less equivocal, and there is a broad consensus that storms are increasing in strength, or severity. This attribute, called the Power Dissipation Index, measures the duration and intensity (wind speed) of storms, and research has found that since the mid-1970s, there has been an increase in the energy of storms.”
This is as one might expect with the extra heat in the oceans. Latent heat being the energy source. They thus serve as gigantic energy reservoirs for perfect storms.
The warming ocean heat makes its way poleward.
The ice nucleated air masses, covered in parts 17 and 18, add to the already intense extra-tropical storms and the more powerful winds increasingly break up the remaining ice, both mechanically and by enhancing ocean heat transfer to the under-ice surface. This is expected to accelerate the arctic amplification process as outlined by the AMEG group.
The storms also add to the, already enhanced, cloud content. This, as we know, has a warming influence in the Arctic regions.
Phil-anthropogenic warming combined with hurricane/storm intensification technology nurtures and transports these giant latent heat engines to the Arctic ice which accelerates the process outlined above.
The first attempts to influence hurricanes date back to the 40’s and the origin of cloud seeding, pioneered by Langmuir, Schaefer and Vonnegut.
Langmuir employed the method of dispersing dry ice at an altitude of 19,200 feet to create regions in the free atmosphere and thin upper level stratus clouds containing high concentrations of ice nuclei. This could be considered an early means of ice nucleation, forcing the temperature down so that condensation would be radically enhanced.
These regions acted as holding reservoirs until the ice crystals had grown to precipitation size and were then entrained into the lower levels of towering cumuli, invigorating and intensifying them.
It was perhaps intended originally by Langmuir that over-seeding (creating too many ice nuclei) would reduce the hurricane’s intensity by cutting off the source of moisture. However, the virtually limitless source of water below would eventually bring even the vast quantities of ice nuclei to precipitation size and strengthen the hurricane further.
Recall that a hurricane tends to move first in a westward direction with the trade winds, but as the storm spins, anti-clockwise in the northern hemisphere, it slides away from the equator and is usually deflected in a parabolic curve eastwards.
“A Low Yankee Trick”
During Project Cirrus, the first seeded hurricane intensified and made a 90-degree left turn into Georgia.
About 20% of the direction of a hurricane is influenced internally by the effect of its size on what is called Beta Drift. Beta Drift causes the hurricane to head North West.
The larger the hurricane the stronger and faster it will head in that direction.
This is possibly what happened in Project Cirrus in 1947. The attempt to overseed it with ice crystals may have stalled it for a short period but, due to the near limitless supply of water vapour and salt crystals for cloud condensation in combination with the dry ice, it grew bigger and darker, increasing its influence on beta drift and made the sharp turn into Georgia, “a low Yankee trick.” as one journalist put it.
Langmuir was pleased, which is disconcerting as he was supposed to be in the business of mitigation. Indeed, it is difficult to see how fuelling a hurricane can reduce its capacity for destruction. Whatever the case, the fellows in the business of litigation were not so pleased. GE’s lawyers told him not to boast about his achievement before the statute of limitations ran out.
We can see the signs here of company and government officials attempting to play down the effects of cloud seeding, not because it doesn’t work but because of the consequences of a public awareness of official involvement with such activities.
The next official attempt to modify hurricanes ran from 1962 – 1983 and was called Project Stormfury.
The proposed modification technique involved artificial stimulation of convection outside the eyewall through seeding with silver iodide.
The idea of seeding outside the eye wall to weaken the hurricane was Dr Joanne Simpson’s, one of the foremost atmospheric scientists of the 20th century.
Her husband Dr Robert Simpson was the co-creator of the 1-5 Saffir-Simpson scale for hurricanes, director of both Project StormFury and the National Hurricane Research Center.
Ben Livingston, veteran of Project Popeye and Project StormFury provides insight into how seeding hurricanes works:
“The reason the cloud doesn’t expand on its own in most cases is the fact that there is a lot of moisture but there’s no nuclei, there’s nothing for the moisture to stick to. So, when you provide the silver iodide nuclei, it causes the water to coalesce to that nuclei, and what it does, it releases heat, which means everything starts to rise. If you produce enough nuclei at the right places in a cloud, there’s essentially no limit to how fast and how far it will grow, because it just keeps releasing heat as it goes up, and of course the heat keeps trying to rise” Emphasis mine
How many aircraft are required to seed a hurricane?
Surprisingly, two small aircraft would be enough.
As the cloud seeding nuclei are extremely small, weight and volume are not an issue.
“You don’t measure these particulates in terms of tons, you measure them in terms of half-pounds. So a cloud seeding device with 14 grams of Silver Iodide mixture in it that produces ten to the thirteen nuclei per gram, weighs about a third of a pound. So four hundred of those things weighs a hundred and twenty pounds.” Emphasis mine
“The material that we put in the atmosphere are not toxic, and by volume they’re nothing.”
"We're carrying more cloud seeding material on one airplane now, over 800% more on each plane than we had during Project Storm Fury" Emphasis mine
Livingston, describes seeding and nurturing a cloud until it grew past the altitude of cirrus clouds, the freezing level. It reached well over 65,000 feet in 41 minutes. As the silver iodide enhanced cloud condensation and released latent heat, the cloud developed vigorous convective activity, decreasing the pressure underneath and drawing other clouds into it. When the upper ice nuclei reached precipitation size they fell down through the lower level clouds invigorating them. Given enough water vapour and silver iodide there is virtually no limit to how large a cloud can grow.
“Seeding of tropical cumulus clouds, and indeed any clouds, requires that they contain supercooled water--that is, liquid water colder than zero Celsius. Introduction of a substance, such as silver iodide, that has a crystalline structure similar to that of ice will induce freezing.”
Cloud Seeding Candidates
Lead iodide, along with silver iodide, were the ice nuclei that were determined in the mid-40s to be the most effective candidates for cloud seeding. Lead oxides and mixtures with ammonium iodide were later found to be similar, if not better, ice nuclei than silver and lead iodide. Later still, it was found that pure lead-containing materials were not required for ice nucleation; instead, lead need only be present as a surface inclusion on an inert core.
Lead, in addition to being an ice nuclei itself, has the effect of “supercharging” pre-existing particles, making even more highly efficient nuclei.
Today, however, the logical candidate for the main source of ice nuclei would again be our prime suspect for the cirrus cloud over-seeding operation, coal fly ash. Containing a toxic cocktail of heavy metals such as Aluminium, Barium and Lead, the cloud seed par excellence. It works as both an effective ice nuclei and cloud condensation nuclei. This means it will seed upper level cirrus clouds and lower level cumulus clouds.
The aircraft that fly into tropical cyclones in the North Atlantic and Pacific Oceans to gather weather data are also equipped with the means to modify these storm systems in the manner described by Ben Livingston above. Some of them even officially carry aerosol microphysics payloads, for the purposes of “research”, of course. They are also fitted with Doppler weather radar.
A NOAA WP-3D Orion weather reconnaissance aircraft
“The WP-3s were designed to tolerate large amounts of damage since they are the aircraft that actually fly into the eye of hurricanes. The WP-3 can be thought of as a flying research lab as it is equipped to take atmospheric measurements. One of the most distinct parts of the WP-3 is the giant circular black belly radar.”
NOAA's Gulfstream IV-SP
“The G-IV is a high altitude jet that can fly up to 45,000 feet.”
“The G-IV flies around the periphery of both tropical and winter storms, including hurricanes, and drops sondes in order to gather data about the surrounding environment.”
The enhanced modification of these storm systems would involve deployment of aerosols in the form of payloads and the application of pulsed radar (as outlined by WW101 and covered previously) under the cover of “research”. This would be in combination with an ocean already warmed by cirrus cloud over-seeding.
These aircraft are also deployed for winter storms.
"We fly predetermined tracks that the National Weather Service have designed for these types of storms," said Lt. Col. Jon Talbot, the squadron senior meteorologist.”
Designing predetermined tracks for storms. Interesting.
As outlined previously, Doppler radar, when pulsed at the correct frequency and sustained, plays a role in cloud augmentation in addition to its role in detection.
Sea Based Seeders
There are also numerous ships involved with research, such as NOAA Ron Brown which hosts Lidar and Radar.
Of course, ship tracks would also play a role when laid down ahead of the predetermined path of storms. Like contrails but lower down, these are clouds that form around the exhaust of the ship, sulphur dioxide (sulphates have a greater influence on lower clouds) and mineral/ash.
Geoengineering proposals include using boats that atomise seawater and spray the fine vapour into the lower level clouds. This would provide the water vapour. Although water vapour should be abundant over the ocean under a warming world. Potentially these boats would be used over the horse latitude regions where the descending high pressure air hampers cloud formation.
Black Carbon Hurricane Enhancement
William Gray’s proposals for use of black carbon included those for hurricane mitigation. Like Joanne Simpson’s proposals, these involved creating competing convection cells that would weaken the eye of the hurricane. Black carbon laid down closer to the eye wall, however would intensify the hurricane.