How the Great Wall of China might just be the model for U.S. tornado protection.
A university physicist thinks China might be onto something with its Great Wall. Rongjia Tao of Temple University found that while the United States had 81 tornadoes in 2013, China only had three. He thinks the minimal twister damage might be due to the massive wall that protects the Chinese plains and would like to build similar protection in the Midwest region of the US, also known as “Tornado Alley.” The walls Tao has in mind would be 1,000-feet high and 165-feet thick.
Tao’s proposal, which has been published in the International Journal of Modern Physics B, suggests that the walls will prevent the moist air from the Gulf from mixing with warm, southbound air. Tao suggests that one of the walls should be built close to the northern border of Tornado Alley, in North Dakota, one in the middle of the U.S., in Oklahoma, and the other in the south of Texas and Louisiana. Tao says he understands that the construction of the wall could not be reality now; there are not enough resources to build it.
These storms are not only dangerous but extremely costly. Most recent on NBC New’s record of Six Of The Worst Twisters in U.S. History is the May 2011 tornado in Joplin, Mo., which killed 162 people and racked up damage costs of approximately $2.8 billion. Before then, the most costly tornado was one that hit Midwest metropolis St. Louis in 1896 and left the city with $2.54 billion in damage. If Tao can eventually find a plan for building the walls he could save the U.S. a great deal of money and heartache.