Sunday, August 10, 2008

The Chinese Are Controlling Weather With Rockets?

If you've watched the Olympics you may have noticed that the weather is clear when it needs to be and it rains when it needs to. When they want it to be clear, like for the opening ceremonies, it was. When they want it to rain to clear out smog, it does. How are they doing this?

It appears China has learned to control the weather with rockets. See here and here.

From the first source:
Shells, rockets, aircraft and hilltop burners are used to "seed" clouds with silver iodide or other chemicals that can either disperse moisture or make it fall earlier than it otherwise would.

Chinese authorities say the weather-tampering technology has alleviated water shortages and saved millions of yuan (money) for farmers, as large parts of China are permanently battling against severe droughts.

So popular is the rain-inducing technology that it has even sparked the so-called “rain-greed”—farmers fighting each other for rain.

The state-run China Daily newspaper cited a case in central Henan province where five neighbouring arid cities raced to cloud seed when the skies recently looked promising. The rain came for the quickest cities, but some local weather bureau officials in the slowest city, which received the least rain, have accused their counterparts of intercepting and overusing clouds.
I don't know the validity of the science behind this, but if it works, I won't mock it.

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