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Giant walls could be built to stop tornadoes


Posted on Sunday, 9 March, 2014 | Comment icon 27 comments

Tornadoes often prove highly destructive and deadly. Image Credit: CC BY-SA 3.0 Justin Hobson
Physicist Rongjia Tao has suggested the construction of huge walls to prevent tornadoes from forming.
Of all the ideas put forward to help offset the threat of tornadoes in America's infamous Tornado Alley, that of Temple University's Rongjia Tao is perhaps the most unusual and the most ambitious.

At a recent meeting of the American Physical Society, Tao suggested that the best way to combat tornadoes would be to construct a gigantic wall 300m tall and 160km long. This massive barrier wouldn't be designed to withstand the forces of a tornado but to instead slow down the movement of air in the region enough to prevent tornadoes from forming in the first place.

"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.

The idea has been met with a significant degree of skepticism.

"Everybody I know is of 100 percent agreement - this is a poorly conceived idea," said weather researcher Joshua Wurman. "The cure could be worse than the disease."

Source: Wired | Comments (27)

Tags: Tornado


 
Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #18 Posted by aquatus1 on 10 March, 2014, 1:39
You know, I keep hearing that, but in practice I have been through three hurricanes and about 4 typhoons, and I cannot consider a typhoon to be anywhere near a hurricane in terms of destructive power. Heck, I mistook my first typhoon for a particularly bad rainstorm.
Comment icon #19 Posted by danielost on 10 March, 2014, 2:27
Tell that to the two Korean fleets that tried to invade japan. Both went down due to the divine wind, Kamikaze.
Comment icon #20 Posted by aquatus1 on 10 March, 2014, 11:00
You mean the ones from about 800 years ago? I wasn't around.
Comment icon #21 Posted by Junior Chubb on 10 March, 2014, 11:17
Sounds like a poor excuse to build more walls in America...
Comment icon #22 Posted by maximusnow on 10 March, 2014, 15:57
Well, they would have to make a way for sharks to be filtered from the tornadoes, prior to wall impact. Just sayin! Maximus
Comment icon #23 Posted by Hobbit Feet on 10 March, 2014, 20:57
I think the theory is to disrupt the flow, not to cause it to come to a dead stop. If a tornado is forming or moving and runs into a structure it may disrupt the circular wind flow which may cause it to begin breaking up. I don't think the wall would have to be very high but there would have to be a lot of them. Just a thought.
Comment icon #24 Posted by ancient astronaut on 11 March, 2014, 5:58
Giant walls to fend off the Kaiju.
Comment icon #25 Posted by spud the mackem on 11 March, 2014, 10:28
Hadrian once built a wall across Englnd to stop the Scots invading, but they are still getting in.
Comment icon #26 Posted by simplybill on 12 March, 2014, 18:58
I agree, Finity. There are some really nice-looking, tornado-proof dome house designs.


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