What if the wrong person could control the weather?
Meteorologist and big wave surfer Dr Gwen Boudain devotes her life to predicting extreme weather events so she can protect people in their path from the devastating ravages.
But her world-leading technology captures the attention of a powerful venture capitalist, a dangerous jihadi group, Wall Street speculators and a handsome but secretive journalist, Dan Jacobsen. They all want to steal and exploit her technology for their own ends. But Gwen knows that if her life’s work falls into the in the wrong hands, people will die.
Unsure of who to trust, Gwen teams up with Jacobsen in a desperate attempt to take back control of her technology from people who are willing to kill for it.
Read the reviews
Ark Storm is a rich and engaging thriller, which focuses more on people and their motivations than on the disaster itself. The result is a clever novel, with just enough science to make its premise believable…‘For Winter Nights’ blog (Click to read full review)
“Ark Storm is a winner. It draws you in and thrashes you about like a hurricane. It’s plausible and terrifying. The writing is crisp, the pacing is breakneck, and the characters are vivid.”Douglas Preston, New York Times bestselling author of Impact
“Sex, murder, meteorology… A brilliantly crafted thriller filled with characters who are authentically good – and bad.”Former US Secretary of Defence William S. Cohen
I have long been fascinated by the weather. Some years ago, I lived in Peru. Every so often I would escape the mayhem of Lima for Punta Sal, a little fishing village on the border with Ecuador. Hemingway used to fish there for marlin. Framed photographs of him grinning beside his huge catches adorn the walls of the ramshackle bars.
I went not to fish but to swim in the sea, body surfing the huge Pacific rollers. Normally you could only stay in for ten or fifteen minutes without a wetsuit because the Humboldt Current kept the waters cold but one Christmas the waters were balmy! I stayed in for two hours, marvelling at the difference, emerging nut brown and slaked in salt. El Niño had come, bringing with it warm waters. That’s where it is first felt, in the seas off that remote and under-populated border. Typically, the Niño phenomenon is felt around Christmas time and hence acquired its name – El Niño – the Christ Child. The fishermen’s children, playing in the unusually warm waters, knew El Niño had come. As did I. But none of the world’s media seemed to have picked up this event and did not do so for months.
It made me think, what if you had a superior weather prediction system to the competition? You could make out like a bandit using weather derivatives…
One gruesome note which bears witness to the devastation weather can bring and mankind’s brutal response: Two thousand years ago, the Moche civilisation of Peru, master potters who lived along the northern coasts of the Punta Sal area, sacrificed hundreds of their own people to assuage the weather gods in El Niño years. Massed skeletons were found at the bottom of cliffs in the surrounding areas. Archaeologists studied the depictions on the pottery and dated the skeletons and analysed the soil and rock and pieced together the story of the Niño sacrifices. For the warm waters that El Niño brings devastate the fish supplies and often produce heavy rains that wash away harvests. El Niño meant starvation for the coastal dwellers.
And human sacrifice.
Seeing the pottery of the Moche, swimming in their seas and walking their cliffs, brought home to me the power of the weather and its role in shaping human history. I’ve been fascinated by weather ever since… The roots of Ark Storm went down many years ago.
It’s a leap from prediction to manipulation of the weather. We’re familiar with cloud seeding, above, but the ionisation technology in Ark Storm is a much more powerful tool/weapon than seeding. Making it rain, breaking all records, in the deserts of Arabia has a doomsday biblical slant to it. The science/technology is already here – look at the rain storms in Al Ain UAE in July and August 2010 (i.e., when rain is nigh on impossible):
- Looks like rain: science creates desert downpours, The Times, 2 January 2011
- Abu Dhabi weather project ‘creates man made rainstorms’, The Telegraph, 2 January 2011
- Abu Dhabi-backed scientists create fake rainstorms in $11m project, Arabian Business, 3 January 2011
- Scientists Create 52 Artificial Rain Storms in Abu Dhabi Desert, Time Magazine, 3 January 2011
And this technology has moved on some since then.
Ark Storm in translation
Luitingh-Sijthoff, 2014. ISBN/EAN: 9789021809939
Gwen Boudain is een jonge meteoroloog die een geavanceerd computerprogramma heeft ontwikkeld. Daarmee kan de komst van een Atmospheric River Storm worden voorspeld, die gigantische vloedgolven kan veroorzaken, hetgeen vooral levensbedreigend is voor de Amerikaanse westkust. De juiste voorkennis van zo’n mega-ramp levert miljarden dollars op. Gwen heeft een investeerder gevonden voor haar project. Maar wat voeren haar collega’s in hun schild? En waar is die aantrekkelijke journalist op uit? Wat zijn de echte drijfveren van de sjeik die in de financiering is gestapt? Algauw blijkt dat Gwen groot gevaar loopt…