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124. Power of The Storm

24 May

Hulking storms which dwarf countries. Humongous towering low pressure systems which regularly cause billions of dollars of damage. Hurricanes, how do they do it. The answer is energy. They produce energy on scales barely conceivable.

These structures are greater in size than many countries and are powered by the largest accessible energy reserve on the planet. The warm oceans over which they swirl, siphoning up every last bit of energy. The energy makes them fest, the gorge themselves on it and swell with every moment. However nothing can hold such energy.

So they emit it. In terms of heat and kinetic energy.

Hurricanes emit between 50 and 200 exajoules a day, or 1 Petawatt of power. That is 1,000,000,000,000,000,000 Joules of power. To provide some scale, it is 200 times the electricity generating capacity of the world, and 70 times the rate at which all humans combined on earth use energy.

How about something we know, if only barely.

A single hurricane can produce the same amount of power you would get, by detonating a 10-megaton nuclear bomb every 20 minutes. Fortunately most of the energy is high up within the Hurricanes, only the smallest fraction of the energy causes the widespread destruction we see caused by these systems every year. They are staggering creations, their spiralling clouds resemble the arms of a galaxy whilst their power is greater than the wholo of humanity, 70 times over.

Unfortunately current predictions say the United States of America shall experience six Hurricanes in 2011. On the bright side, it could be several thousand times worse.

 
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Posted by on May 24, 2011 in Articles, Trivia

 

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