Bubble screen technology helps prevent major storms

   OceanTherm is looking at using bubble screen technology to lower water surface temperatures, cut off energy supplies and make hurricanes stronger.
   Images of the damage caused by Hurricane Katrina prompted Olav Hollingsaeter, chief executive officer of OceanTherm, to find solutions. The researchers found that very warm sea surface temperatures contributed to the energy that turned Katrina into a major hurricane.Sea surface temperature of 27 degrees Celsius or higher will create conditions for the tropical storm system to develop and strengthen. However, OceanTherm believes that bubble screen technology can reduce sea water temperatures. Their plan is for the ships to install perforated pipes to release bubbles that cool the seawater at the surface, shutting off the energy supply the storm needs to ramp up.
   At a depth of 100m, they found the seawater cold enough to bring the surface temperature below 27 degrees Celsius. However, attracting investment remains a major challenge for the company.
   That number may seem expensive, but it is still very low compared to storm damage.This is not the first time scientists have proposed the idea of   storm protection. Dr. Tracy Fanara of the Department of Environmental Engineering at the University of Florida is concerned about the potential impacts on algae in the bay. According to Fanara, the hurricane season offers a number of benefits, such as bringing rain to areas and replenishing arid groundwater. Researchers can learn more from experimental projects like OceanTherm's, she emphasizes.