Pakistan has been ravaged by floods but we’re not the only ones suffering from climate disasters. As the northern hemisphere continues to experience heat waves, wildfires, and severe droughts, climate scientists and engineers are attempting to control the weather directly. They have come up with a new method to control weather disasters, here’s how:
What’s Going On?
The temperatures are consistently reaching 40 degrees Celsius (104 degrees Fahrenheit). In China especially, in the province of Sichuan over the past two months, the longest heat wave has been going on. It is being described as a drought that is “adversely affecting drinking water security of rural people and animals and the growth of crops”. The heat is also driving the Yangtze, Asia’s longest river, to record low levels.
What Is Cloud Seeding?
The Chinese government has started a project termed “cloud seeding”. This is in an effort to provide rain as a result of the dire situation. To give you context, when the water vapor-containing air climbs into the atmosphere and cools, frozen particles are created. A cloud develops when enough of such particles group together. Then, the frosty specks mix inside the cloud. As a result, depending on the temperature and other weather factors, the combined droplets eventually become large and heavy enough to fall to the ground as rain, snow, or hail.
Cloud seeding involves introducing tiny amounts of silver iodide to these clouds. Silver iodide is a salt with a crystalline structure resembling that of ice. These particles can be launched into the air from the ground or from a plane or drone to carry out this process. This technique could bring about rain. Cloud seeding is about inducing rain.
Not The First Time
In the 1940s, US researchers, at the General Electric Research Laboratory, made the first discovery of cloud seeding. The technique is currently employed in a number of nations throughout the globe though it is not so well-known. China is the most recent example, and Beijing has previously used the method to bring on rain in advance of the 2008 Summer Olympics.
Moreover, in order to prevent rain from ruining major festivals, Russia is renowned for using cloud seeding. Could countries benefit from this when they are going through a drought?
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