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Great Walls of America 'could stop tornadoes'

disasters physicist billions clashing streams computer simulations

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#1 Hum

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Posted 08 March 2014 - 17:17

Building three "Great Walls" across Tornado Alley in the US could eliminate the disasters, a physicist says.

The barriers - 300m (980ft) high and up to 100 miles long - would act like hill ranges, softening winds before twisters can form.

They would cost $16bn (£9.6bn) to build but save billions of dollars of damage each year, said Prof Rongjia Tao, of Temple University, Philadelphia.

He unveiled his idea at the American Physical Society meeting in Denver.

However critics say the idea is unworkable, and would create more problems than it solves.

Every year hundreds of twisters tear through communities in the great north-south corridor between the Rocky and Appalachian Mountain ranges.

The proposed walls would not shelter towns - they would not be strong enough to block a tornado in motion.

Instead, they would soften the clashing streams of hot southern and cold northern air, which form twisters in the first place, Prof Tao said.

"If we build three east-west great walls, one in North Dakota, one along the border between Kansas and Oklahoma, and the third in the south in Texas and Louisiana, we will diminish the threats in Tornado Alley forever," he said.

 

"We've already been doing computer simulations and next we aim to build physical models for testing [in wind tunnels]."

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#2 DocM

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Posted 08 March 2014 - 19:20

This has already been ridiculed from all sides, and for good reason: the premise is faulty. Tornadoes start at altitudes high enough that surface features have little effect on their formation.

Ex: in 2012 there was a tornado at 11,900 feet on Mt Evans in Colorado, and in 2004 there was a tornado at 12,000 feet in Sequoia National Park in California.

Not to mention that on average Kansas is already about 1,000 feet higher than Oklahoma.

#3 Enron

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Posted 08 March 2014 - 19:22

Why not just create countertornados that spin in the opposite direction?



#4 Skin

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Posted 08 March 2014 - 19:26

Why not just create countertornados that spin in the opposite direction?

 

I would rather see science flip the earth upside down, so the tornadoes and winds just naturally move in the opposite direction. Let Colorado and Utah start feeling more of them and leave poor Kansas and Missouri alone.

 

Or create sharknados. Either thing works.



#5 +chconline

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Posted 08 March 2014 - 19:26

Why not just create countertornados that spin in the opposite direction?

Or you can just take out your gun and shoot at the tornado :D



#6 ians18

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Posted 08 March 2014 - 19:29

Instead, we should work on building underground buildings and communities in those areas. (We would still have some stuff above ground)



#7 DocM

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Posted 08 March 2014 - 19:30

Stop the Earth from spinning and the winds from blowing. Problem solved! :rofl:

#8 D. S.

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Posted 08 March 2014 - 19:45

Like the Wall of Life? Sure, that would work...

 

OIL0Quz.jpg



#9 The_Observer

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Posted 08 March 2014 - 19:46

how far in records do the US have with all these tornadoes. Have they getting stronger every year in the past 25-50 years or when you all playing cowboys and indians where they around.



#10 Joe User

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Posted 08 March 2014 - 19:46

This has already been ridiculed from all sides, and for good reason: the premise is faulty. Tornadoes start at altitudes high enough that surface features have little effect on their formation.

Ex: in 2012 there was a tornado at 11,900 feet on Mt Evans in Colorado, and in 2004 there was a tornado at 12,000 feet in Sequoia National Park in California.

Not to mention that on average Kansas is already about 1,000 feet higher than Oklahoma.

 

Why would the height of ground level in comparison to the ocean factor into this? You should be looking at how many tornadoes are forming a few miles east of Mt. Evans, after the mountain has disrupted the wind and heat patterns.

 

That being said, I think this needs more research. Tornadoes start in high altitudes, but other factors besides wind speed and temperature influence tornadoes. For example, a lack of moisture has been found to disrupt tornado formation. 



#11 Anibal P

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Posted 08 March 2014 - 19:47

This has already been ridiculed from all sides, and for good reason: the premise is faulty. Tornadoes start at altitudes high enough that surface features have little effect on their formation.

Ex: in 2012 there was a tornado at 11,900 feet on Mt Evans in Colorado, and in 2004 there was a tornado at 12,000 feet in Sequoia National Park in California.

Not to mention that on average Kansas is already about 1,000 feet higher than Oklahoma.

 

Just blame Global Warming or whatever new trendy name it has these days, it's the reason for EVERYTHING weather related  now a days 



#12 +Nik L

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Posted 08 March 2014 - 19:53

Just blame Global Warming or whatever new trendy name it has these days, it's the reason for EVERYTHING weather related  now a days 

 

Wow so wait... One weather pattern has a bearing on the other...



#13 Enron

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Posted 08 March 2014 - 20:00

how far in records do the US have with all these tornadoes. Have they getting stronger every year in the past 25-50 years or when you all playing cowboys and indians where they around.

 

Recent phenomenon. Apple invented tornados in 1982.



#14 _dandy_

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Posted 08 March 2014 - 20:12

A wall like this should also keep the White Walkers out.

 

Not so crazy now, is it?



#15 macrosslover

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Posted 08 March 2014 - 20:28

Like the Wall of Life? Sure, that would work...

 

 

And that beast promptly got his butt kicked which means we're thinking about this wrong.  We don't need a giant wall we need GIANT ROBOTS!!!!