What is Cloud Seeding? It increases the ability of a cloud to produce rain or snow.
Cloud seeding is a type of weather modification in which the amount or type of precipitation that falls from clouds is altered. It involves dispersing substances into the air that act as nuclei (such as silver iodide). It provides a crystal around which moisture can condense, stimulate precipitation, and form rain.
Cloud seeding involves planes spraying chemicals into clouds in order to condense smaller particles into larger raindrops. It increases annual rainfall rates by about 10% to 30%.
So far, experts have discovered no negative effects of silver iodide cloud seeding on the environment. However, silver iodide is toxic to aquatic life. The silver concentration in a storm caused by cloud seeding is far below the accepted limit of 50 micrograms per litre.
The United Arab Emirates (UAE), which is located in one of the world’s hottest and driest regions, has recently been at the forefront of efforts to seed clouds and increase precipitation.
Applications of Cloud Seeding:
- Agriculture: Provides relief to drought-stricken areas.
- Power Generation: Experiments have shown to augment the production of hydroelectricity during the last 40 years in Tasmania, Australia.
- Water pollution control: It can assist in maintaining the minimum summer river flows and dilute the impact of treated wastewater discharges from industries and municipalities.
- Tackle Air Pollution: It can potentially be used to settle down toxic air pollutants through the rain.
- Tourism: To increase tourism, cloud seeding can make typically dry areas much more hospitable.
What difficulties does cloud seeding present?
- Potential Side-effects: The chemicals used may have unintended consequences for people, animals, plants, or the environment.
- Abnormal Weather Patterns: In the end, it might alter the planet’s climatic patterns. Due to the artificial process of adding chemicals, areas that typically receive moisture may begin to experience drought.
- Costly: It involves processes such as delivering chemicals to the sky and releasing them into the air via flare shots or airplanes, which incurs significant costs.