“Why don’t we nuke them”, said the 45th President of the Unites States, while discussing a possible course of action against hurricanes.
Donald Trump has pitched the idea of using nuclear weapons to divert a hurricane several times to senior Homeland Security and National Security officials. In 2017, Trump reportedly asked a senior official whether the administration should bomb a hurricane to prevent any destruction.
The conversation was explained by an NSC Memo – that captured multiple topics, not just hurricanes, and viewed “bombing” as a potential solution to prevent tornadoes from hitting mainland.
Recently, Trump was reported to bring up the idea again during a hurricane briefing at the White House. According to a source, he said, “I got it. I got it. Why don’t we nuke them?”. The president further added, “They start forming off the coast of Africa, as they’re moving across the Atlantic, we drop a bomb inside the eye of the hurricane, and it disrupts it. Why can’t we do that?”
According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the results of such action would be “devastating”. The nuking wouldn’t even alter the storm, instead lead to a massive radioactive fallout that’ll effect the land areas.
The NOAA further explained, in order to affect a storm, the energy from the blast would have to be focused at one point. A heat release of a hurricane is equivalent to a 10-megaton nuclear bomb exploding every 20 minutes, which is nearly impossible to concentrate at one spot, in the middle of the ocean.
There’s a slight chance of preventing a hurricane by targeting weak tropical waves, before they change into a storm. However, “about 80 of these disturbances form every year in the Atlantic basic but only 5 become hurricanes in a typical year. There is no way to tell in advance which ones will develop”, as per the NOAA.
This isn’t the first time the futile idea has sprung up. It was initially proposed in 1950’s by a government scientist under President Dwight Eisenhower, but the idea was rejected due to its lack of scientific basis.
The suggestion has led to a viral hashtag, “#ThatsHowTheApocalypseStarted”. However, President Trump has denied any responsibility of the idea and slammed the story as “fake news” in his latest tweet.
— El Christo (@ElCorbynista) August 25, 2019
The story by Axios that President Trump wanted to blow up large hurricanes with nuclear weapons prior to reaching shore is ridiculous. I never said this. Just more FAKE NEWS!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 26, 2019