Friday, December 02, 2005

What to do...

Credit: Nature 438, 565-566 (1 December 2005)

So, the news is dire, one of the "worst case scenarios" (for some of us anyway) of climate change seems to be transpiring.
The Gulf Stream northern branch is weakening, catastrophic cooling of the North Atlantic and Western Europe could occur in a matter of decades, and the strengthened southern circulation would lead to warmer, more persistent mid Atlantic currents, and hence longer and stronger Hurricane seasons.

Nature article (subscribers only) News and Views


So, this is clearly an engineering problem...

Now, a long time ago, this came up over a Truly Momentous pot of coffee, at a table with just the right combination of people.
Assuming we were correct about mechanisms, causes etc, and we did use two or three napkins to sketch this out, so odds are decent; there is in fact a solution.

See, the Gulf Stream can be thought of sort of like a triode. The North-South flow is controlled by the West-East current out of the Gulf of Mexico, which is choked by the Florida Straits.

So, what do you do? Well, the solution is obvious. You short the bugger.

We need to remove Florida.

Now, this might sound drastic, but with the Hurricanes, they're toast anyway.
(What about Cuba you might say? One word: Mountains. Trust me, politics aside, Florida is easier.)

So, how do you remove Florida?
Well, digging is hard, so we fall back on the standard engineering solution. Brute Force.

We nuke them.

I figure O(10,000) thermonuclear devices carefully dug in and set off (not all at once, please) would do it.
More or less. We can see how the first few go, and then tweak it. That is one of the joys of engineering solutions.

Yes, we would evacuate first. What do you think that we're some sort of uncaring inhuman monsters?!

Now, where would we get ~ 10,000 spare nukes...? Think. Think.

Wait, better save some for the Impending Catastrophics Asteroid Collision, or something.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Not only do we get rid of Florida, but we could also throw enough dust and particles into the atmosphere to stop global warming, too! I always wondered why someone didn't just blow up a lot of stuff in an uninhabited part of the world to put that dust back in the atmosphere, the way a good volcanic eruption would do. Gotta love those disaster fantasies.

5:00 AM  
Blogger Wolfgang said...

My proposal is simpler:
Airplanes are allowed to fly by day only, when their contrails reflect (part of) the sunlight back into space.
They are not allowed to fly in the evening or at night.
By the way, a nice picture of contrails is here

3:50 PM  
Blogger Kevin said...

Drat! Now I have to start living on Mars or Titan... :P

2:03 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

am i in heaven or am i in miami?

9:05 AM  

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