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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.


Once Outlaws, Young Lords Find A Museum Home For Radical Roots

Inspired by the Black Panthers, the Young Lords were formed in New York City by a group of Puerto Rican youth in 1969. Their history is now on display in a new exhibition.

Europe's Taste For Caviar Is Putting Pressure On A Great Lakes Fish

Scientists say lake herring, a key fish in Lake Superior's food web, is suffering because of mild winters and Europe's appetite for roe. Some say the species may be at risk of "collapse."
WAMU 88.5

A Congressional Attempt To Speed The Development Of Lifesaving Treatments

Earlier this month, the House of Representatives passed the 21st Century Cures Act in a rare bi-partisan effort. The bill is meant to speed the development of lifesaving treatments, but critics warn it may also allow ineffective or even harmful drugs onto the market.


Some Google Street View Cars Now Track Pollution Levels

Google's already tested three of the pollution-sensor equipped cars in Denver, and is currently trying them out in the Bay Area.

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