US Seeks to Weaken Hurricanes

Scientists propose techniques to modify the weather
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Aug 2, 2008 1:42 PM CDT
Homes sit under floodwaters after Hurricane Dolly hit the area in Matamoros, Mexico, Thursday, July 24, 2008.    (AP Photo)
camera-icon View 4 more images

(Newser) – The Department of Homeland Security is hoping that weather-altering techniques can lessen the devastation caused by hurricanes, the Daily Telegraph reports. A hurricane reduction program likely to begin in October will devote $64 million to efforts such as spreading tiny salt particles in the storms to drain them of much of their rain before they hit land.

Another idea is to place a layer of oil on the ocean in a storm’s path to cut evaporation from the sea, keeping the hurricane from getting too hot and thus more powerful. But weather’s mechanisms are poorly understood, and critics fear unintended consequences.