China to make artificial rains over an area three times of Spain
Chinese government which has been ‘cloud seeding’ to make artificial rains for years has okayed its largest-ever project to force rainfall and snow over 1.6 million sq km, an area roughly three times the size of Spain.
As per media reports, the Communist Party government is going to use new military weather-altering technology developed by the state-owned China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation.
The technology uses combustion chambers on the ground which burn a solid fuel resulting in a spray of silver iodide billowing towards the sky. The authorities plan to build tens of thousands of combustion chambers on Tibetan mountainsides.
“More than 500 burners have been deployed on alpine slopes in Tibet, Xinjiang and other areas for experimental use. The data we have collected show very promising results,” an unnamed researcher told the Morning Post.
“Sometimes snow would start falling almost immediately after we ignited the chamber. It was like standing on the stage of a magic show,” he said.
A single combustion chamber can make a strip of clouds covering a five km area.
Earlier, China used military planes and rockets to seed the clouds over an area to force rain. The seeding particles of silver iodide provide something for passing water vapour to condense around, forming clouds. These clouds, then start falling as rain or snow.
Rain and snowfall on the Tibetan plateau are vital for China as well as adjoining countries including India and Bhutan. Many of the rivers like the Brahmaputra flowing into India from China collect their water from the rainfall over the Tibetan plateau.
Since 2013, China has been forcing 55 billion tons of artificial rain a year. During the 2008 Olympic games, the country launched over 1,100 rockets containing silver iodide to spay over the clouds over Beijing so that the mega sporting event can go rain free.