Q: The treasure from a Spanish warship sunk over 200 years ago was recently returned to Spain. The value was estimated to be at least $439 million. Did the Florida-based company Odyssey Marine Exploration that discovered the wreck and retrieved the treasure in 2007 receive any compensation?
—Fran Jordan, Norcross
A: Odyssey Marine Exploration didn’t receive compensation from Spain for its recovery of the 594,000 silver coins and artifacts, the Tampa Bay Times reported. Spain thinks the treasure was from the Nuestra Senora de las Mercedes, which was sunk off the coast of Portugal by British warships in 1804, the paper reported. Odyssey Marine claimed the ship was never positively identified as the Mercedes, but a federal judge ruled in Spain’s favor in 2009. The company spent $2.6 million salvaging, transporting and storing the treasure, according to the article.
Q: If a storm strikes at night, how is it determined that it was in fact a tornado and how is its strength gauged, if no one saw it?
—Richard H. Siegel, Atlanta
A: Doppler radar can measure the strength of the wind, Glenn Burns, chief meteorologist for Channel 2 Action News, told Q&A on the News in an email. “We can see the storm rotation and pick out where that rotation is and how strong it is,” he said. Burns said the new dual-polarization Doppler radar “can also see debris being sucked up into the tornado, so we have verification that it is on the ground and doing damage.”
Andy Johnston wrote this column. Do you have a question about the news? We’ll try to get the answer. Call 404-222-2002 or email firstname.lastname@example.org (include name, phone and city).