Sunday, May 07, 2006


The Chinese 'Wizards of Weather' have fired more than a hundred rockets into clouds on the outskirts of Beijing, releasing particles of silver iodide, and suceeded in creating the biggest rainfall of the year over the dusty, dry city.

From the Associated Press : "Although unusual in many parts of the world, China has been tinkering with artificial rainmaking for decades, using it frequently in the drought-plagued north. Last month, another artificial rainfall was generated to clear Beijing after the city suffered some of the fiercest dust storms this decade.

"Whether cloud-seeing actually works has been the subject of debate in the scientific community. In 2003, the U.S. National Academy of Sciences questioned the science behind it as 'too weak.'"

US scientists may regard the evidence as 'too weak', but this hasn't stopped China and Russia altering the weather over a number of their cities, either to draw in rain where it is needed most, or in at least once case in Russia, forcing rain clouds to empty on the outskirts of a city where President Vladimir Putin was giving a speech and wanted the weather to stay dry.

Cloud seeding has also been used in rural Australia, with mixed results, to break droughts.

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