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Tipping the balance towards creating hurricanes and tornadoes will naturally counter the thermal effects of greenhouse gas emissions.



Hurricanes and Tornadoes are natural global coolers. They transport energy from the earth’s surface to the upper atmosphere where it is more effectively radiated to space. They also provide a reflective cloud layer that reduces incident solar energy.  Triggering tropical storms earlier in their season and at points further along their normal paths will create more hurricanes of lower intensity. This will result in a greeter area of tropical cloud cover, reducing the energy available for later storms as well as limiting storm strength by the counter-flow of adjacent storms.  On a smaller scale, triggering tornadoes earlier in the daily thermal cycle of “Tornado Alley” will release the energy trapped near the ground before it builds the potential for extensive damage.

 Hurricanes form naturally when ocean temperatures are locally warm enough to initiate convection that is organized into a vortex by the Coriolis Effect. The air’s acceleration over the sea surface increases the thermal energy transfer which cyclically increases the convection.  Triggering the process earlier in the season can be accomplished by locally increasing the water temperature using large black tarp combined with deflecting airfoils deployed about the tarp’s perimeter to initiate vorticity. This could also be accomplished at higher temperatures on a smaller physical scale through combustion and deflection vanes to create a “fire-nado” to get the storm started.

Tornadoes similarly form on a more local scale when the ground heats up through the course of a day and thermal energy gets trapped immediately above the ground by a cooler air cap above it. A “fire-nado” can trigger a small local tornado that dissipates trapped energy before a larger more dangerous tornado can be formed.   Tornadoes can also be triggered by a more permanent local blacktop surface surrounded by vortex inducing deflectors.

Category of the action

Mitigation - What U.S. Federal Agencies can do to mitigate climate change

What actions do you propose?

Review climate conditions that are conducive to tornado formation. Determine candidate conditions, in areas of sparse population, for early starting of tornado.

Design “fire-nado” generation truck and develop deployment procedure

Deploy truck to candidate position in the US mid-west and activate to stimulate tornado formation.

Repeat daily for several weeks to determine effects upon natural tornado formation.  If successful, determine location for permanent tornado generating facilities.

Similar action on much larger scale is need for hurricane generation.  This would probably involve deployment of naval equipment such as aircraft carrier using jet engines and aircraft control surfaces to initiate tropical storms. 

Who will take these actions?

NOAA, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute

US Navy

Where will these actions be taken?

Determination of candidate conditions would occur at NOAA or WHOI research lab. 

Tornado deployment would occur in mid-west United States; "tornado alley".

Hurricane deployment would initially occur in Gulf of Mexico. This would limit triggered storm size as well as international liabilities. 

How much will emissions be reduced or sequestered vs. business as usual levels?

This proposal is intended to counter the thermal effects of greenhouse gas emissions while other emission reducing strategies are implemented. 

What are other key benefits?

Wind turbines placed outside the perimeter of a tornado generating facility would have a predictable daily airflow pattern.  Tornadoes and hurricanes could be triggered to alleviate droughts

What are the proposal’s costs?

Tornado generator $10 Million

Hurricane generator $200 Million


Other costs:

Any damage caused by a “triggered” storm will be blamed on the entity creating the storm, regardless of the likelihood that a later, larger natural storm would cause more damage.


If successful as intended, this initiative would address the thermal detriment caused by greenhouse gas emission. It will It would not likely improve, and may exacerbate, the chemical impact of greenhouse gases (i.e. ocean acidification)

Time line

Short term for initial studies and deployments.

Mid term for permanent installations. 

Related proposals

An earlier climate Co Lab proposal described an elaborate structure for "steering" hurricanes. While the intent was similar to this proposal, the design and construction of such a large device that would be deployed for every hurricane seems unfeasible. 


The proposal is based upon basic understanding of meteorology from high school texts.