We’ve all been let down by the weather more than once in our lives. Too wet, too windy, too chilly, sometimes even too hot! So, what if we could manage the weather to suit ourselves better, or better fit our crops or wildlife? Well, this technology is more within our reach than you may have previously assumed.
So, what is weather control, and how does it work?
How Does Weather Control Work?
An key point to know regarding weather management, or weather modification, is that it’s actually nothing like what you see in the movies. We can’t merely boost the overall temperature a bit or just slow down windspeeds. We also can’t simply do rid of clouds on a whim so that the light may shine through (as beautiful as that thought is) (as nice as that idea is).
Weather control is now mostly focused with altering and affecting cloud systems.
Because weather control isn’t currently a commonplace technology, there isn’t a single method it might function. However, cloud seeding has been used for weather control for over seventy years.
When American scientist Vincent Schaefer was working with a cloud in his laboratory in 1946, he invented cloud seeding. Schaefer was able to make snow fall from the cloud by using frozen carbon dioxide. Scientists eventually substituted the carbon dioxide dry ice with silver iodide particles to obtain the same result.
However, when tested in the environment on actual clouds, the success rate was not quite as great. The natural environment was just not as regulated as that established in a lab, making the whole procedure that much more challenging. Following this, public interest in this weather control approach waned, and it hasn’t been explored much further since.
Russia has also taken attempts to decrease the fall of harmful hail. This was also a matter of discussion in South Africa, where damaging hail was becoming a concern. This method involves injecting ice nuclei into prospective hail clouds, which allowed scientists to regulate the hail fall. And it seems that this was a huge success.
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Some American scientists are also experimenting on putting ice nuclei, or tiny ice particles, into storms to lessen their strength and therefore their destructive impact. However, this has not yet been realized in a real-world situation, and additional research and development is needed to improve on this technology.
While all of these technologies seem to be intriguing, there remains the issue of whether we truly need weather control. So, what are the alleged advantages of utilizing it?
Do We Need Weather Control?
Weather management has the potential to benefit both humans and the environment in a variety of ways. Of course, utilizing weather control to just make the weather pleasant is a possibility, but this is unlikely to be the case.
Avoiding natural calamities such as forest fires and storms is a significant perceived advantage of weather control. We have all seen the heinous Australian flames in January 2020, as well as the regular California wildfires that destroy animals and tear people from their homes. If weather management could be utilized to prevent this from occurring, many animal and human lives, as well as the houses of thousands of people, would be saved.
Related: How Microsoft’s Weather Prediction Supercomputer Will Help Save the Environment
Furthermore, weather management might lower the amount of failing harvests in agriculture-dependent nations, which could benefit global economies. This method might potentially be used to artificially create rainfall in regions that experience yearly droughts, saving the lives of countless people and animals.
Though many of these sound like fantastic possibilities, the reality of large-scale weather control is unknown. But, at the present, are any governments utilizing weather control?
Is Weather Control Already Being Used?
Though weather control is still in its early stages, it is being employed in several nations. China, for example, has started to use cloud seeding to create rain and snowfall over the nation. This started sixty years ago when military planes dropped silver iodide and liquid nitrogen on the clouds below to thicken the water droplets, causing rain and snowfall.
This technique has also been used to create rain during droughts, such as before the 2008 Olympics in Beijing. Given the venture’s relative success, the Chinese government declared in December 2020 that it will be extending the initiative further. The project will now span over 2.1 million square miles as a consequence of this extension.
To put this in context, the project is covering an area 1.5 times the size of India. This massive undertaking is expected to be finished by 2025. China has also announced plans to coat 224,000 square kilometres of land with hail-resistance technology. Hail is a constant concern for both people and crops in China’s western province of Xinjiang. As a result, this business should dramatically enhance agricultural production, increasing the economy and improving farmers’ lives.
Scientists in Wyoming, the westernmost state in the United States, have also investigated weather control. The Wyoming Weather Modification Pilot Program (or WWMPP for short) was a 2018 experiment that also included cloud seeding technologies. Cloud seeding was employed to try to create rain over two distinct Wyoming mountain ranges. The experiment revealed that cloud seeding caused 30% of the rainfall over the mountains, a very good outcome!
Weather Control: Novel, Yet Promising Tech
Weather control is undoubtedly still in its early phases, with just a few nations experimenting with it. However, if this technology continues to advance, we may see weather control devices in our own cities in the not-too-distant future, benefiting mankind in a variety of places throughout the planet. What a brilliant idea!
But, for the time being, we’ll have to take the weather prediction for what it is. At the very least, we have central heating and air conditioning!
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