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Offshore Wind Farms Could Reduce Force Of Hurricanes, Study Finds

A Stanford University professor says offshore turbines could knock the wind out of hurricanes.
A Stanford University professor says offshore turbines could knock the wind out of hurricanes.

Offshore wind farms could reduce the force of a major hurricane — potentially saving lives and millions of dollars in reconstruction costs.

Stanford University engineering professor Mark Z. Jacobson has spent the past 24 years building complex computer models to better understand weather and climate change. He says those models recently revealed something surprising: Offshore wind farms could dramatically reduce the wind speed and storm surge of a big hurricane like Sandy or Katrina.

"In the case of, for example, Hurricane Katrina, we used 78,000 large wind turbines and found that would reduce the storm surge by up to 80 percent and wind speeds by more than 50 percent."

Jacobson says turbines would likely be able to withstand most category 1 and 2 hurricanes — those most often seen on the East Coast.

And he says even a relatively small offshore wind farm — such as the one proposed for Maryland's coastline — could still take some of the punch out of a big storm.


'Black Mirror' Is Back, Reflecting Our Technological Fears

The Peabody Award-winning series returns for a third season, with six new episodes picking apart our fear of — and dependence on — technology. And it's more consistently compelling than ever.

In Jerusalem And West Bank, Nutella Cafes Offer A Sweet Refuge

Palestinians are flocking to a string of Nutella cafés that have popped up in the region. The cafes offer a welcome refuge from the realities of living in a conflict zone.
WAMU 88.5

The Politics Hour - October 21, 2016

Virginia’s online voter registration will be extended after a system crash. Montgomery County keeps Marriott headquarters local with big incentives. And Washington D.C. dukes it out with Washington state over their shared moniker.


Cyber Aggression Takes A Back Seat To Other Presidential Campaign Issues

The White House says it plans to retaliate against Russia for cyberattacks. Cybersecurity has been a constant issue on the campaign trail. No candidate professes to have expertise in this policy area.

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