Ask The Naked Scientists

Ask the Naked Scientists SA episode

Sat, 8th Mar 2014

Does wet coal produce less power?

power station (c) wknight94

Can weather be manipulated? Will wet coal produce less electricity in a power station? Why does curry make my nose run? Is aluminium linked to Alzheimer's? Is it better to drink warm water? Who lives near the Chernobyl site? This week Dr Chris answers more questions from 702ers, and, in the light of the Oscar Pistorius case, considers the reliability of memory...

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One of your callers asked about HAARP - High Frequency Active Auroral Research Program, based in Alaska.

It is a series of radio transmitters and receivers used to study the ionosphere - one antenna array can transmit a quite respectable 3.6 MegaWatts of power in the High Frequency band. It is able to heat the ionosphere, and study the impacts.

Some people claim that it has been used for weather control (and other secretive programs). However, a single transmitter station this far north would not affect much of the populated parts of the world, and would have no impact on the southern hemisphere.

The "Butterfly Effect" could in theory allow a small atmospheric change in one place to have a dramatic effect in a distant place, perhaps two weeks later. The science fiction writer Arthur C.Clark envisaged the possibility of this, if you could reach most parts of the atmosphere from an orbiting space station. However, the computational complexities of the weather currently prevent us doing this.

For a rebuttal of some of the conspiracy theories, see: evan_au, Tue, 11th Mar 2014

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