domingo, 9 de marzo de 2014

Giant walls could be built to stop tornadoes

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."

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