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China Technology

Chinese Government Ramps Up Weather Control Efforts 139

Posted by Soulskill
from the can't-stand-the-weather dept.
formaggio writes "China's government is intervening with nature by rolling out four regional programs to artificially increase precipitation across the country by 10 percent before 2015. The program is anticipated to bring in an additional 230 billion cubic meters of precipitation per year by 2015. This is on top of the 50 billion cubic meters of precipitation China already artificially creates annually in the northeastern province of Jilin."
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Chinese Government Ramps Up Weather Control Efforts

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  • soory (Score:5, Funny)

    by masternerdguy (2468142) on Tuesday December 13, 2011 @07:40PM (#38363670)
    Sorry commies, but only the Allies can have the weather control device. Go play with your nuke and iron curtain.
  • Evaporation (Score:5, Insightful)

    by LoudMusic (199347) on Tuesday December 13, 2011 @07:41PM (#38363674)

    Are they also creating an evaporation effect in the region that supplies air moisture to the region they're trying to create precipitation in?

    • Re:Evaporation (Score:4, Interesting)

      by jpmorgan (517966) on Tuesday December 13, 2011 @08:07PM (#38363946) Homepage

      Well, if you think about the Langmuir equation, decreasing the partial pressure of water vapour in the atmosphere by inducing precipitation will increase the evaporation rate. Then it's just a matter of prevailing winds which, assuming the Chinese aren't complete idiots, they've probably thought about.

      • Re:Evaporation (Score:5, Interesting)

        by v1 (525388) on Tuesday December 13, 2011 @08:12PM (#38364004) Homepage Journal

        inducing precipitation will increase the evaporation rate.

        so in layman's terms, not only will they be causing less rain to fall downwind of you, but they'll also be causing more water to evaporate downwind - lowering humidity and making the problem of less-rainfall more severe. (assuming it's over land and not ocean anyway)

        • by TubeSteak (669689)

          so in layman's terms, not only will they be causing less rain to fall downwind of you,

          Other than Japan, there's nothing downwind of China until you hit the California coast.
          Which isn't to say that China has no effect on California.
          They have to deal with pollution and dust from China often enough for it to have been studied in some detail.

          • by C0R1D4N (970153)
            Clearly this could be stopped by killing all the butterflies in China.
            • Killing all the butterflies in China will just stop some tropical storms in the Western Hemisphere. We need to get all the good ole Texas butterflies to flap there wings in unison, creating one large super hurricane in China.
          • Re:Evaporation (Score:4, Informative)

            by MaWeiTao (908546) on Wednesday December 14, 2011 @11:01AM (#38369852)

            There's Korea, Taiwan and the Philippines. Given that South Korea, Taiwan and Japan all have amongst the largest economies in the world and massively dense populations I'd say that what China is doing is very important. They already have to deal with dust storms blowing over from the ever expanding Gobi desert.

    • by Praeses (1294778)
      Many of their power plants are indirectly evaporating water. I am curious to see how the quantities compare.
  • man can't affect the world's climate...

    paraphrased.

  • I have to ask... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by hipp5 (1635263) on Tuesday December 13, 2011 @07:44PM (#38363720)
    but what could go wrong!?
    • by Trepidity (597) <delirium-slashdot@hacki s h . o rg> on Tuesday December 13, 2011 @08:06PM (#38363942)

      I suppose the first question to ask would be where the moisture would've fallen otherwise. Unless they're creating new evaporation/condensation into clouds, which it doesn't sound like since they're discussing seeding rockets, they're just causing it to fall somewhere instead of somewhere else. Maybe that harms somewhere else, or maybe it doesn't; would need more information to say.

      They appear not to get this, or not want to acknowledge it, though, with the quote: "Because clouds are boundless, weather control is boundless". Clouds might be boundless if you're doing isolated cloud-seeding operations, but on a massive industrial scale, clouds aren't really boundless...

  • by MBC1977 (978793) on Tuesday December 13, 2011 @07:48PM (#38363756) Journal
    This reminds me of an Edding's book I read once, "Guardians of the West" where the lead character started playing around with the weather (to prove a point to some very inept thinking people). Several months later his grandfather comes to his castle, and virtually berates him for tampering with the "most powerful force in nature".

    Somehow I think this very fitting considering (1) this is China we're talking about and (2) anyone (including the US) who plays around weather is virtually certain to cause an adverse effect somewhere else. So please DO NOT TAMPER WITH THE WEATHER!!.

    Thanks. :)
    • Somehow I think this very fitting considering (1) this is China we're talking about and (2) anyone (including the US) who plays around weather is virtually certain to cause an adverse effect somewhere else. So please DO NOT TAMPER WITH THE WEATHER!!.

      From the article it seems they have already caused adverse effects, and yet they persist.

    • This reminds me of a Herbert book where the Guild wanted a prohibitive price for weather satellites.
    • If I remember correctly, the grandfather and one of his sorcerous pals spent a year or so preventing the main character's actions from triggering a new ice age.

    • Cheers for the Eddings reference. Love it. If I hadn't already commented on this story you'd have my mod points.

    • I can think of a dozen places easily where they'd love for you to tamper with the weather, intelligently. Texas, for starters.
  • by jklovanc (1603149) on Tuesday December 13, 2011 @07:49PM (#38363772)

    What about downwind areas where the water would fall naturally? Might that effect snow packs and cause drought during summer months?

    • by hedwards (940851)

      That's where they're trying to get the water to. Most of the areas where they're trying to get more water are pretty much as downwind as possible. I think the wind patterns there are generally west to east there, although I could be wrong.

      Ultimately, the water gets into the ocean eventually, it's mostly a question of whether it's via run off or rain.

  • by CityZen (464761) on Tuesday December 13, 2011 @07:52PM (#38363796) Homepage

    I see international problems brewing with this...

    I hear that in some localities, the rain water (that falls on your property) doesn't belong to you, and you're not legally allowed to have rain barrels.

    Weather alteration will amplify issues like that, such that countries have to make treaties regarding who can claim which clouds.

    Of course, you have to wonder about a range of possibilities: You can make your neighbor have a drought, or potentially have a flood.

    • Yup. Think there's a fuss about who owns the water in a river (which, btw, is the reason China is in Tibet and will never leave)? It's gonna be worse when people try to make clouds rain in a place that they would normally just pass over. At least, with a river, it's pretty obvious if someone is diverting massive amounts of it. But with rain-making machines, it's generally hard to tell that something out of the ordinary did take place. Add some cross-border animosity to the mix, and suddenly Twain's quip abo

    • by AK Marc (707885) on Tuesday December 13, 2011 @08:36PM (#38364248)
      Here, I'm required by law to catch rainwater. But in Colorado, it's illegal to do so, as the water rights are owned downstream.
  • I can see it now.

    China claims success in their Weather Control efforts, when in reality those increases in precipitation are actually a result of their contribution to global warming--warmer air has the potential to "hold" more water.

    • by ackthpt (218170)

      I can see it now.

      China claims success in their Weather Control efforts, when in reality those increases in precipitation are actually a result of their contribution to global warming--warmer air has the potential to "hold" more water.

      One would think, with all the particulate matter they throw up into the air they would already be causing increased precipitation.

      Well, Mulholland and his lot thought they could make the desert bloom, bring water to the southwestern US from the Columbia River and the Great Lakes, so ambitious were their schemes. Fortunately they only met with limited success - which Los Angeles was developed out of.

      • by Anonymous Coward

        Fortunately they only met with limited success - which Los Angeles was developed out of.

        So you're saying that even their limited success ultimately led to disaster?

      • by Thing 1 (178996)

        Well, Mulholland and his lot thought they could make the desert bloom

        They certainly had a lot of drive!

  • by ackthpt (218170) on Tuesday December 13, 2011 @07:59PM (#38363880) Homepage Journal

    But if the moisture isn't already in the air in sufficient quantities, it doesn't want to come pouring down.

    Why not just build desalination plants to take demand off rivers downstream and reservoirs upstream to retain water from high rainfall years?

    Built the Three Gorges Dam, which is a dam disaster to the population and environment, now they going to play around with the sky. Not very forward thinking, really.

  • sounds like a mad scientist plan... but hey if it works :)

  • Oh, I don't know. Considering we exist in a closed system (we live on a ball, in space)... What Could Possibly Go Wrong? No KYOTO for us! We can fix billions of years of planetary evolution with our fiendish little yellow brains!!!
  • by WindBourne (631190) on Tuesday December 13, 2011 @10:52PM (#38365304) Journal
    I wonder how this will do with the warming that is occurring? Supposedly the models show that China's rain is suppose to drop a great deal. Perhaps this is their way of winning their cold war.
  • He just can't keep the damned Joes from meddling with Cobra's plans to dominate the world with it.

  • Maybe the Australian Carbon Tax which is suposed to offset climate change effects be passed on to the Chinese since if this program goes full scale day to day operation they will efectively be responsible for the weather in other countries :) :) I mean i read a butterfly farting in Brazil causes thunderstorms in Jakarta some sort of chaos theory effect. So TAX THE CHINESE!!!
  • It looks like it is not that China does not try to prevent stop the climate changes.... It actively tries to cause ones.... Where are all naive climate savers who help to move industry from USA/Europe to China ?
  • Make a region dependent on an artificially created local microclimate ... and use your control of it to extort whatever you want from the region.

Slowly and surely the unix crept up on the Nintendo user ...

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