China , Dubai: Make it Rain Over Area 3 Times the Size of Spain

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China to make it rain over area 3 times the size of Spain© Rick Stevens © Reuters

Since 2013 China has been creating 55 billion tons of artificial rain a year. The country is now embarking on its biggest rainmaking project ever.

In terms of the plan, announced this month, Chinese authorities intend to force rainfall and snow over 1.6 million sq km (620,000 sq miles), an area roughly three times the size of Spain.

According to media reports, the government will use new military weather-altering technology developed by the state-owned China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation. The country plans to build tens of thousands of combustion chambers on Tibetan mountainsides. The chambers will burn a solid fuel, which will result in a spray of silver iodide billowing towards the sky.

“More than 500 burners have been deployed on alpine slopes in Tibet, Xinjiang and other areas for experimental use. The data we have collected show very promising results,” an unnamed researcher told the Morning Post. “Sometimes snow would start falling almost immediately after we ignited the chamber. It was like standing on the stage of a magic show,” he said.

The Tibetan plateau is vital to the water supply for much of China and a large area of Asia. Its glaciers and reservoirs feed the Yellow, Yangtze, Mekong, and other major rivers that flow through China, India, Nepal, and other countries.

Sprayed from planes, the particles will provide something for passing water vapor to condense around, forming clouds. Those clouds will bring the rain. A single cloud-seeding chamber could create a strip of clouds covering a 5km area.

Traditionally, the rainmaking process or “cloud-seeding” means rocket-launching chemicals into clouds which accelerate the creation of ice crystals that eventually become rain. China also uses military aircraft for those purposes. Rainmaking is also a popular way to “clean up” air in China, where heavy smog is a big problem for many cities.

The practice of weather modification has become more frequent across the country in recent years, including for major public events. In 2008, China launched over 1,100 rockets containing silver iodide into Beijing’s skies before the Olympics opening ceremony to disperse clouds and keep the Olympics rain-free. Beijing has a “development plan” for weather modification until 2020. (Published April, 18, 2020 via RT.)

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) uses drones that fly into clouds and deliver an electric shock to “cajole them” into producing precipitation amid dangerous heat waves regularly surpassing triple digits. 

According to Daily Mail, UAE’s National Center of Meteorology (NCM) is flying drones equipped with electric-charge emission instruments that deliver an electric charge to air molecules, which generally encourage precipitation. 

NCM has produced “monsoon-like downpours across the country” with drones to deter sweltering 122F heat. Footage shows Dubai battered with torrential rain produced by cloud seeding technology.

The country already uses cloud-seeding technology, such as dropping salt and other chemicals into clouds to stimulate precipitation. 

The latest cloud seeding operations via drones is part of a $15 million program that is already producing rain in the country, which ranks one of the top driest in the world. The country has plenty of clouds, so triggering rainstorms with electrical charges via drones shouldn’t be an issue. Not every cloud will trigger, but seeding “increases the amount of rain by between five and 70 percent,” Daily Mail said. 

Rain triggered through cloud seeding is much cheaper than desalinated water, where about 42% of the country’s water originates. 

Cloud seeding via drones has enormous potential and shows water can be tapped from the sky. This technology might be helpful to North and South America, where huge megadroughts impact water supplies and damage crops. 

The downside to artificial rain in arid climates is that these areas aren’t well-positioned to handle downpours and may result in flash floods. There’s always a caveat when playing with Mother Nature. 

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Alan Murray
Alan Murray
1 year ago

That ship that got stuck in Suez was reportedly carrying Gates’ climate change chefs. Wonder if flooding in Europe is something to do with it!