rashbre central: whither weather the weather and whether to go or together?

Friday, 21 September 2018

whither weather the weather and whether to go or together?

Today, an extension from yesterday's pub conversation. We'd been talking about whether the weather could be controlled by particle beams. Someone mentioned ionospheric heaters and the next thing we knew, we were looking up conspiracy theories on youtube.

Here's the weather control theory, netted down to a couple of sentences:

Fire a beam of particles from somewhere to divert a major storm system. Use a combination of power sources and a big reflector to achieve it.

Here's a diagram from the MIMIC (Morphed Integrated Microwave Imagery at CIMSS) weather system recorder which shows what could be described as a burst of energy pointing towards a weather system. It's the bobbly bits up the middle of the map and another set from off the coast of west Africa that could be read as a generated disruptor.

Now I'm a bit of a sceptic on this kind of stuff, so I had a look around for strange arrays of sky facing aerials and big dishes. There's a few around.

The biggest array in the world is the one in Jicamarca, Peru called JMO 50, which has been used to send out Doppler signals and record their rebounds. These things need a lot of power to operate (in this case up to 6 mega watts) and then need large expanses to pick up the return signal. The guys at JMO started back in 1961 and use incoherent scatter radar techniques to gather their measurements. It's a bit like the way that Radio Luxembourg used get Medium Wave interference from Russia's Gorky and sounded kind of wavy.

My point is two fold. To significantly disrupt the atmosphere you need something big and you need a lot of power.

Even then, with inverse square law, the power drops quickly over long distances.

It's like the fall off from a torch beam over distance. Which brings me back to the weather system disruptors. There'd need to be an awful lot of power to shift a hurricane path. So what about big dish type beams? Again, I looked for some big ones. The popular and well-known one is Arecibo, in Puerto Rico. It was part of Cornell University until a few years ago, when Florida took over.

It's a decent size, but not so manoeuvrable. Once again, it's been around since the 1960s. If the 6 Megawatts in Peru seemed powerful, this one does better, with four radar transmitters, with an effective isotropic power of 20 Terawatts continuous. Oh yes, this one goes further than Back to the Future on power. However, that assumes the power is spread all around, whilst the effective focussed amount will be considerably less.

Hold that thought, as we move to another big dish. This one is quite new, the Five-hundred-metre Aperture Spherical radio Telescope (FAST; Chinese: 五百米口径球面射电望远镜), nicknamed Tianyan (天眼, which is "The Eye of Heaven”).

Now this deep dish is the biggest on earth and something of a status symbol to the Chinese. The thing is, with all its power, the new collector is surprisingly sensitive. So sensitive that the effect of tourists visiting it is impeding its effectiveness. Indeed, the dish gets more tourists now than the Great Wall of China. And that's the problem. They make too much noise and vibration which upsets the delicate readings.

But let's get back to that weather map. The other place of interest is that west African island. It turns out to be Annobón, which is a small province of Equatorial Guinea. I zoomed into it on Google.

Most of the 5,300 low-income inhabitants speak a creole form of Portuguese. Curiously, in the last few years a new international airport has been built as well as a major harbour extension. In addition, the volcanic lake in the middle of the island appears to have been drained in the last year or two.

It indicates that surprising amounts of money have been tipped into a 5,300 population island off of Africa. Back to those energy blips on the MIMIC weather scans. I decided to look a tad further. This is where my own investigation veered away from space rays.

Unfortunately it lead towards basic regional corruption.

Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo has been President of Equatorial Guinea since 1979 when he ousted his uncle in a military coup.

In the 1980s, Obiang signed a number of agreements with British, French and US companies for the large-scale dumping of toxic and possibly radioactive wastes on Annobon and in adjoining waters.

After protests, the Equatorial Guinean government agreed to suspend the deals, although it gave no commitment to abandon its interest in the trade. In the 1990s, a military blockade was imposed on the island. A visiting German agronomist who managed to obtain access alleged that: 'There are indications of storage of radioactive substances in the coast of Annobón. The island is protected by the military, all the communications are cut...'.

Oh well, a low inhabitancy toxic island? Great place to hide a ray gun?

But wait. It's also close to some huge oil fields. Obiang had also felt compelled to take full control of the national treasury in order to prevent civil servants from being tempted to engage in corrupt practices.

From it, he allegedly deposited more than half a billion dollars into sixty accounts controlled by himself and his family at Riggs Bank in Washington, D.C., leading a U.S. federal court to fine the bank $16 million for allowing him to do so. Some of those payments were from Exxon Mobil and Hess Corporation.

It sets the stage for the next developments on this island. Clean up the mess. Build an international airport length runway and a port to bring in tankers. But, what about that strange star shaped constellation on the corner of the island? Could that hold a weather bending ray?

I have a couple of ideas. Maybe it's a new airport terminal complex? Or could it be for the implausibly large amount of solar power generation being installed on the island?

What's sure is that the investment is out of kilter with the not well-off population. International airport runway, modern docks and enough on-island-generated solar power for every inhabitant to move from 5-6 hours per day of electricity to full time connectivity to a new power grid.

So some this doesn't add up, but for now I'll remain sceptical about the weather beams?

No comments: