Superstorm Sandy certainly did quite a number on the east coast of the US last week, but it seems that one of Britain’s leading marine engineers, Stephen Salter, emeritus professor of engineering design at Edinburgh University and a global pioneer of wave power research, has come up with a patent alongside Microsoft’s Bill Gates and Nathan Myhrvold, to use thousands of used car tires that are lashed together, supporting gargantuan plastic tubes that are capable of extending all the way into the ocean, up to depths of 100 meters deep. The kind of wave action that occurs on the ocean surface will force warm surface water down into the deeper ocean, and if the non-return valves were in action, it would have resulted in mixing of the waters, while the surface temperature of the ocean will be cooled to be below 26.5C, which is the critical temperature where hurricanes start to form.

According to Salter, whatever hydrological problems there are have already been solved, but in order for it to continue, research funding is required urgently. Salter continued, “If you can cool the sea surface, you would calm the hurricanes. I estimate you would need about 150-450 of these structures. They would drift around and send out radar signals so that no one would collide with them.” Dubbed the “Salter Sink”, this idea was originally presented to the US government in 2007 at a post-Katrina US Homeland Security meeting on hurricane suppression, where it was then picked up and further developed by Intellectual Ventures, which is backed by Bill Gates, as the organization purchases and licenses patents and inventions. Ah well, what are governments waiting for, although the adage better late than never comes into operation here.

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