MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) -Did you know that scientist can make it rain. It is called cloud seeding. Scientist use weather modifications to produce rain and help to increase water especially in areas around the world where communities are desperately need water. They also use this method to decrease the severity of storms. Cloud seeding can help, hail within a storm to be smaller. This method is used by private companies and these companies have help to provide fresh snow on ski slopes and to make it rain before big events such as the 2008 Beijing Olympics.
How do they change the Weather
They don’t make clouds but instead try to get all the moisture out of clouds by adding specific substances to clouds. The substance get into the cloud by shooting it from the ground or by dropping the substance into the cloud by plane.
Air natural has water vapor, but cloud seeding can cause the water to condense or squeeze out until it falls out of the cloud. Typically, when air rises into the atmosphere, it cools and forms particles called ice nuclei, this ice nuclei clump together to form clouds. When the cloud droplets combine, and grow and become too heavy, liquid will fall to the ground in the form of precipitation, which is determined by the temperature and other conditions. The“seed” that is placed within the clouds create ice nuclei that allows the cloud to grow faster and bigger than usual.
Other techniques have been considered. Techniques that could help blow away storms from land with windmills, cooling the ocean using icebergs, blowing a hurricane apart with hydrogen bombs or laser beams that would be injected into the center of a storm. Cloud seeding has been used because it is more simple and a more inexpensive way to manipulate weather.
Cloud seeding is used in over 50 countries. The reason for altering weather conditions have varied from Russia where clouds were removed for a national holiday, and in India, it was used to help promote rain due to drought.
According to authorities China use cloud seeding to clear the skies for the Beijing Olympics. China also announced that they would use funds to use the weather modification program to help with drought conditions and to decrease natural disasters.
In 2015 the United Arab Emirates (UAE) used over 177 operations of cloud seeding in the mountains to add water to aquifers and reservoirs.
In the United States is cloud seeding has been used in the Great Plains and western states to fight against drought among other cloud seeding projects
While there are several benefits there are also some risk involved in modifying weather. Introducing salt or other chemicals into the rain could change microclimates. Scientist point out that this could disrupt with crops in areas close by. Atmospheric scientist warn that the method could be abused if it were to be used by the military against enemies. Thankfully this method of usage has been banned by the United Nations.
Many agree that weather modification can be beneficial especially if it use for the greater good. Some of the other benefits are, it can reduce fog at airports, decrease air pollution in levels in big cities. It is mainly used to supply water to places with drought but it can also help to decrease the amount of severe weather like, hail, hurricanes and tornadoes.
Research is continuing on cloud seeding as it has the potential to save lives.