Hurricanes: Can't we just nuke them? (Spoiler alert: No)

NOAA has your answer

A damaged home and streets littered with debris are seen after Hurricane Irma passed through the area on Sept. 13, 2017 in Ramrod Key, Florida (Joe Raedle/Getty Images).
A damaged home and streets littered with debris are seen after Hurricane Irma passed through the area on Sept. 13, 2017 in Ramrod Key, Florida (Joe Raedle/Getty Images).

The odds are increasing for Florida, Georgia and possibly the Carolinas to see a major hurricane hit as Dorian barrels toward them.

We are just beginning to embark on the peak of hurricane season as this latest threat rears its head.

So, why do we have to deal with these storms at all? Isn’t there a better way to take control, given that it’s 2019? An article published in recent years on the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's website asked, “Why don't we try to destroy tropical cyclones by nuking them?”

... Because it’s that simple, right?

“During each hurricane season, there always appear (to be) suggestions that one should simply use nuclear weapons to try and destroy the storms,” writes contributor Chris Landsea, of the National Hurricane Center. “Apart from the fact that this might not even alter the storm, this approach neglects the problem that the released radioactive fallout would fairly quickly move with the trade winds to affect land areas and cause devastating environmental problems. Needless to say, this is not a good idea.”

Apparently we needed an expert to tell us that this is not a feasible plan.

It might seem tempting, if you haven’t really looked into the issue, to take matters into our own hands.

These hurricanes cost a fortune. It's estimated that Hurricane Harvey had total costs of $125 billion —second only to Hurricane Katrina in the period of record, which had an approximate cost of $161 billion, according to the NOAA.


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