Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Is There Something in Academia's Water This Week?

With wind energy the darling of the pro-global warming crowd, you knew this was coming.

After the proposal to build the Great Tornado Wall to be made at next month's climate session in Denver, now there is a proposal to…wait for it…

build wind turbines to stop hurricanes!

It is claimed the wind turbines can stand up to hurricanes. Yep, I'd like to see Hurricane Katrina or Camille at their peak intensities take on thousands of offshore wind turbines. I'm certain I know which "side" would "win."

While I'm sure the engineering professor making this proposal is well-intended, it is yet another case of someone making a proposal about the atmosphere with no background in atmospheric science. In fact, he touts his "qualifications" as having been interviewed about global warming on Late Night With David Letterman!

It would really help if everyone who opined on global warming was required to take Meteorology 101.

I do have to say, it hasn't been difficult to find material for the blog this week.

ADDITION: Multiple questions via Facebook, "Wouldn't it slow down the hurricane's wind a little?"

Answer:  The proposed wind turbines are 58 ft. high. For a moment, let's forget the 100' waves of Katrina (at peak intensity) which would instantly destroy the turbines.

Yes, the turbines would slow the wind roughly 60' and below a bit. But, the hurricane's circulation extends to 30,000 feet! Once the hurricane had passed the 'hurricane turbine wall,' the momentum of the (let's say) 150 mph winds at (let's say) 100 ft. would quickly mix downward quickly negating the effect of the turbines.

SECOND ADDITION: A photo is worth a thousand words. This is what an F-2 tornado did to a wind turbine in Harper County, Kansas, in 2012. Hurricanes Camille and Katrina -- at their peak intensities -- had the equivalent of F-3 winds. Wind turbines wouldn't stand a chance. Photo from Wichita NWS.


  1. This is crazy. If I read the correct report, he is calling for 78,000 of these just off of New Orleans? Wow, wouldn't ships have fun getting around.

    In addition, I don't think the turbines currently built would be operating during a hurricane, as most I see in Kansas are stopped on windy non-thunderstorm days. I would think any with a storm approaching like Katrina would be shut off (braked) as well.

    Mike B.

  2. Perhaps they could just extend the proposed anti-tornado wall along the Gulf Coast and Eastern Seaboard as well? ;-)

  3. What did Forrest Gump say? Academia is as academia does?

  4. This and the Great Tornado wall of Oklahoma seem almost like something out of Popular Science/Mechanics of the 30's thru 50's.

  5. Having seen how large some of the blades are on those turbines (I was stopped at a light in Burlington and noticed that the turbines were a solid city block in length as they passed by), I would hate to see the damage they might do as projectile missiles.

  6. Great post, but simply considering the effects the 1000+ feet mountains of Cuba or Puerto Rico have on hurricanes is all that's needed. They temporarily slow them down, but then they just barrel on.


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