The year 2017 will probably go down in history as one of the strangest in recent history when it comes to odd weather patterns across the United States that no one could have foreseen. In fact, the El Niño winter of 2016 – 2017 created many problems for both coastal and interior California which still, to date, have yet to recover from flooding rains, record amounts of snow and some of the worst soil erosion due to out of control wild fires that burned landscape smooth in recent years. How can you stop soil erosion when the ground is smooth as glass? It’s almost impossible! However, once again, technology comes to the rescue both before and after El Niño did his dastardly deeds.


Disseminating Information Timely

One of the biggest problems we have seen in the last decade has been the timely dissemination of weather related information. From tsunamis to tornados to flooding rains which came up unexpectedly, there seemed to be no way to get information out to the ‘locals’ in order to have them evacuate to safety or take steps to secure their property from the coming onslaught of severe weather. Since the deadly tsunami in early 2011, many nations have upgraded early warning technology but there is still a long way to go before the entire globe has a system in place to warn of imminent danger.

Predicting the Need for Erosion Control

Oddly, mankind has developed all kinds of hi tech solutions to be used as erosion control, yet it is predicting the need for such measures that still eludes us. As mentioned above, hi tech digital early warning systems can play a large role in getting word out there when danger is in the wind, but what about the technology needed to predict those weather patterns in the first place? Case in point – Southwestern Georgia in late January and early February 2017. No one could predict the severity of those tornadoes that wiped out much of Albany and the surrounding towns, and this is exactly what meteorologists and scientists are seeking to develop in the very near future – a way to predict rapid changes in weather patterns.

Utilizing Technology to Protect Property and Life

Thinking back to erosion control, technology has come a very long way in making it possible to protect lives and property. While such things as retaining walls and gabions have been used for decades, it is only with the advent of space age materials and hi tech manufacturing processes that we are able to develop materials strong enough to withstand forces of nature as never before. We will continue to read news reports of natural disasters which maybe couldn’t have been prevented, but loss of life and property could have been minimal with hi tech solutions.

These are the kinds of things that scientists are now looking into, especially with all the weird weather patterns that have plagued the world in recent years. Is it global warming or are we just going through cycles as many scientists believe? Does it even matter? What really matters is in the development of technology that can, at the very least, offer protection against extreme conditions. We can’t control the weather but with the right technology, we can control the amount of damage it does. And that is a very good start to age old problems.