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http://m.guardian.co.uk/technology/2012/nov/04/stephen-salter-tyre-hurricane-sandy Devastating tropical storms of the kind that battered the US last week could be weakened and rendered less deadly using a simple and cheap technology based on a surprising component – old car tyres. One of Britain’s leading marine engineers, Stephen Salter, emeritus professor of engineering design at Edinburgh university and a global pioneer of wave power research, has patented with Microsoft billionaires Bill Gates and Nathan Myhrvold the idea of using thousands of tyres lashed together to support giant plastic tubes which extend 100m deep into the ocean. Wave action on the ocean surface would force warm surface water down into the deeper ocean. If non-return valves were used, he says, the result would be to mix the waters and cool the surface temperature of the ocean to under 26.5C, the critical temperature at which hurricanes form. According to Salter, who has written to the government’s chief scientific officer setting out his scheme, harnessing energy from the waves to cool the surface temperature of the ocean makes ecological sense. The naturally working pumps would be located in “hurricane alley”, the warm corridor in the Atlantic through which the most damaging storms typically develop and pass. Read the full report here

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