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China Technology

Chinese Government Ramps Up Weather Control Efforts 139

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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  • 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 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.

  • Re:Evaporation (Score:5, Interesting)

    by v1 ( 525388 ) on Tuesday December 13, 2011 @07:56PM (#38363846) Homepage Journal

    They are stealing our water!

    That's what I was wondering, where would this water normally be falling mostly? Russia? Japan? Pacific Ocean? If it was just headed for the ocean anyway, it doesn't appear to be selfish of them.

  • 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)

  • Re:Evaporation (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Fluffeh ( 1273756 ) on Tuesday December 13, 2011 @08:17PM (#38364060)

    Nope, just makign clouds that are already there precipitate. They are stealing our water!

    Actually, there are a number of countries that are actually saying exactly that - "You are stealing our rain [] and it isn't a joke.

    An interesting thing though, is that the Chinese mainly use Silver Iodide [] Rockets to seed the clouds. Silver Iodide is considered a hazardous substance, a priority pollutant, and a toxic pollutant by the US. Exposure can result in the following:

    Chronic ingestion of iodides may produce “iodism”, which may be manifested by skin rash, running nose, headache, irritation of the mucous membranes, weakness, anemia, loss of weight and general depression. Chronic inhalation, ingestion or skin contact with silver compounds may cause argyria characterized by blue-gray discoloration of the eyes, skin and mucous membranes.

    Will be interesting to see what happens during the next ten to fifteen years after this has been in place for long enough to really get into the soil, the food chain and the poor saps who this rain falls on.

  • Re:Evaporation (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Ihmhi ( 1206036 ) <> on Tuesday December 13, 2011 @10:47PM (#38365258)

    This was a plot in, of all things, a Japanese anime - specifically, One Piece.

    Despite the rain [that Dance Powder] creates however, the powder unfortunately caused long periods of drought to other countries. The process in which the artificial rain is created, nurtures clouds that aren't ready to rain yet. When this happens, all of the water contained within these clouds would all be used up. Because of this, other countries and locations, who would naturally benefit from rainfall when these clouds would naturally mature, are greatly deprived.

    The controversy that this powder brought whenever it was used, started a war. The lives lost in this war was so great that the World Government outlawed the manufacturing and possession of Dance Powder world wide.

    Link to article []

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