Can we stop a hurricane?
Hurricane Katrina in 2005 (pictured) was arguably the worst natural disaster in American history, and many scientists believe hurricanes will only worsen with climate change.
So there’s no shortage of ideas for stopping these devastating storms. In 2009, Bill Gates backed a proposal to halt hurricanes by towing tub-like barges into their path. These would cool the warm ocean waters fuelling the storm.
Most plans underestimate a hurricane’s power though; according to the NOAA Hurricane Research Division, one storm can release the energy of 10,000 nuclear bombs. For example, to fight a hurricane with water-absorbent powder you’d need hundreds of planes to make sorties every one and a half hours.
Some therefore argue that it’s cheaper and more practical to adapt to hurricanes by, for instance, building stronger houses.