That oft-vaunted idea of controlling the weather -- it's one science fiction topic that (unlike so many others) remain firmly beyond our control. We, and our technologies, remain "puny" compared to the energies of global circulation, sunlight, oceans, and the other forces that drive the chaotic global environment. Indeed, when MIT PhD student Ross Hoffman attempted to seriously study weather control for his thesis, his advisor called the project "too outlandish," and unlikely to generate the funding that the study would require. So Hoffman did what any good innovator does -- he listened to the experts' advice, and then happily proceeded to garner a half-million dollars from NASA spin-off NIAC (NASA Institute for Advanced Concepts). NIAC specifically focuses on 40-odd year "outlandish" ideas that just might change our world.
According to the May 7 Wired News, Hoffman's research has indicated that by heating a small area of the atmosphere a few degrees, it may be possible to alter the path of hurricanes, perhaps tornados, and other previously unassailable weather phenomena...