Cloud seeding process to make it a sunny day on opening ceremony of 2008 Olympics

February 3rd, 2008 - 7:15 pm ICT by admin  

Washington, Feb 3 (ANI): In an attempt to overcome any weather disturbances during the opening ceremony of the 2008 summer Olympics to be held in Beijing, researchers in China are planning to seed any threatening clouds with chemicals, which would delay rainfall.

According to a report in Discovery News, this is being done to prevent rain from spoiling the opening ceremony of the mega sporting event.

“It would be nice if the experiment was run and published prior to the big day so it could be weighed on its scientific merits,” said Roscoe Braham, who pioneered weather modification experiments at the University of Chicago in the 1950s.

The benefits of this process are not limited to sporting events like the Olympics, and have far reaching implications.

Weather modification programs like these have been around for more than 50 years, with California and 10 western states in the United States regularly lacing clouds with various substances to increase snow and rain.

A March 2007 study for the California Energy Commission by the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation found that cloud-seeding programs statewide produced 300,000 to 400,000 acre-feet of water annually.

The water, mostly in the form of melted snow, benefits agriculture and the state’s hydroelectric power industry. It also augments recreational and municipal supplies.

To make or mitigate rain, target clouds are injected with chemicals such as silver iodide, which has a crystalline structure almost identical to ice, or with dry ice, which changes the clouds’ structure.

“Dry ice is most effective. You just crush it up and spew it out. A hole will develop in the cloud within about 10 minutes,” said Braham. (ANI)

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