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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.
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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.

NPR

Out Of Juvenile Corrections, Poems Of Fury, Loss — And Lingering Beauty

Over 1,000 students submitted their work for Words Unlocked, a poetry contest for juveniles in corrections. Two young poets split the top prize — and they've shared their poems with NPR.
NPR

Farmers Wait, And Wait, For Guest Workers Amid H-2A Visa Delays

For the third year in a row, the H-2A visa program is running behind. That's left farmers waiting for planters and pickers even as the harvest season is well underway.
NPR

Be Like Bernie: Sanders Looks To Spread His Political Wealth

He's beginning to expand his political network by helping upstart progressive congressional candidates and state legislators, lending his fundraising prowess and national fame to boost their bids.
NPR

After Breast Cancer Diagnosis, She Channeled Her Ups And Downs Into Texts

NPR's Scott Simon talks with Natalie Sun about her project, textingwithcancer.com. The website won a Webby award, and documents her pessimism and optimism while undergoing chemotherapy.

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