There are many types of weather manipulation. In this article, we look at Climate cannons, Ionization-based technologies, Cloud seeding, Dams, and Climate seeding, just to name a few. The implications of these technologies are enormous and should be studied and debated by all. However, there are a few key factors that you must keep in mind before pursuing these methods.
The use of cannons and dynamite for weather manipulation is not new. Mankind has sought to influence the weather since the dawn of civilization. In ancient times, primitive tribes employed medicine men and witch doctors for weather manipulation. Modern man has attempted various methods, including launching 50,000 mirrors into space to reflect sunlight and cause rain clouds.
The widespread use of cannons and other weather manipulation technologies is raising concerns about their possible adverse effects. In Puebla, Mexico, for example, farmers are suing Volkswagen for destroying their crops by using climate-engineering devices. They allege the automaker used these devices to deprive the region’s historic breadbasket of rain. Volkswagen is defending the use of these tools, and says it will limit the number of cannons it uses. It also plans to install anti-hail nets over its new car lot. The automaker employs 15,000 people and produces half a million vehicles a year.
According to the National Development and Reform Commission, as of 2008, China’s meteorological administration has performed over 328 000 operations involving the use of climate-engineering technologies. The biggest problem is that these technologies are still in their early stages and have limited coverage and reach. Further, the government admits that coordination of weather manipulation projects across provinces is far from complete.
The Stiger cannon, which hurls a ring of smoke into the sky, was one of the first cannons tested. The device was designed to disrupt atmospheric motions, create a strong upward whirlwind, and alter the formation of hail in approaching clouds. After the first tests in 1897, interest in the technology spiked and the number of cannons jumped from four to more than 1,600 by the end of that decade.
The ionization-based technologies for weather manipulation have the potential to change weather patterns. These technologies mimic the ionization process of the sun to improve rainfall, especially in semi-arid regions. In addition to being effective, these technologies are environmentally friendly. They don’t produce any waste products or emit emissions.
However, the application of these technologies needs to be carefully regulated. This is because they could cause a conflict of interest among different groups: the agricultural industry needs rainfall, while the tourism industry wants clear skies. There will also be questions of who will control this technology, especially if it is applied near national borders. Another concern is liability. The heavy rain that results from weather modification can cause accidents and damages. Although weather forecasting is improving, it is near impossible to prevent severe weather from striking major cities.
In the U.S., operational weather manipulation programs continue to grow. They are required to submit annual reports to NOAA. They are funded by utilities, states, and the private sector. One of my colleagues in the private sector estimated that about $25-30 million is spent annually on these operational projects. However, there is little federal support for these projects.
In the 1950s, the United States began seriously pursuing research on these technologies to limit the harmful effects of weather. Since then, funding for these programs has decreased. In 2001, there were 66 operational programs in 10 states. But that’s only a fraction of the money that was being invested in these technologies. This is largely a result of overly optimistic claims, unrealistic expectations, and lack of scientific evidence.
Despite the recent progress in weather science, the evidence for weather manipulation is still far from solid. It is important to note that the scientific community and the operational community have been at odds on some issues. Nevertheless, the possibility of using weather manipulation methods is a reality, and it’s a very important step forward.
The use of dams and weather manipulation to create more water can be controversial. Many people are opposed to it, because they feel it goes against an ecological ethic. This practice is an interference with a natural process and the results may be difficult to predict. However, there are also numerous benefits to weather manipulation. For example, a small increase in water flow can help improve agricultural conditions.
Dams are also an effective way to protect wildlife and ecosystems. The Zayanderud Dam, located in the Zagros mountain range, is a prime example. It has been used for several years to manage water resources. Weather patterns, excessive heat, and lack of much needed rain have severely depleted the water supply from the reservoir. In addition to the dam’s water-management purposes, cloud seeding operations have also been successfully performed in the Bakhtiari and Charmahal catchments, which are located upstream of the ZayandeRoud reservoir. The operations have been considered a sustainable water resource management strategy, and results will be recorded for 10 years.
While the technology of weather manipulation is still in its early stages, the public debate surrounding its use is not. Advocates argue that the lack of public recognition is partly because the federal government has not yet defined a national policy on weather manipulation. Such a policy could help define the societal benefits and the role of weather manipulation in promoting national interests. It could also provide important support for research and development.