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  • Climate change, caused by carbon emission into the atmosphere and a thickened ozone layer is warming the temperature of the globe. This is causing the ocean temperature to get warmer as well.

    Hurricanes are able to increase their intensity and become more damaging when they hover over hot spots in the ocean. If the ocean surface temperature is 25.6 degrees C than a hurricane can pick up wind speed and intensity. The worst hurricanes the U.S has experienced in the past century have been so bad because they picked up speed in the hot spots in the Gulf of Mexico.

    If we can cool these hot spots before hurricanes travels over them, hurricanes will lose speed/intensity as oppose to gaining it. This will prevent storms to reach a such high intensity, preventing billions of dollars lost in damage cost and save many lives.

    We started by researching hurricanes and determining our problem. We looked at the “Salters drain” that already existed, which moved cold water on top to the bottom. We then sketched multiple ideas for water movement, a drain and a pump. After making rough prototypes for each we settled on the pump idea because the drain was not efficient enough, and we didn’t even know if it was effective at all. Moving forward with the pump we started with a plastic bottle shape and then built off of that, adding a piston that moves up and down with a one way valve. We then added a divertor off the top to direct the water equally in all directions. We went through many prototypes because we struggled to get a prototype that would pump enough water.

    Giancarlo simulated some scenarios for us and we found out that the only way the pump would work is if we used water that was around 23.5°C and if we could get it to travel 2.5 feet per second or faster.

    We think that when this is put to scale this prototype will be successful. We can’t be one hundred percent sure because we did not have a way to simulate the waves how they appear in the ocean, but we are happy with the product that we made in the two week time span. We think that our general design can be applied to build a pump that would work on a full scale and reduce hurricane severity.