Using rockets and pickup trucks, Chinese officials are seeding clouds and bringing the rain.
Last month, 16 “artificial rain enhancement rockets” were launched off the back of a pickup truck 300 miles south of Beijing. The operation, ordered up by the Juye County Meteorological Bureau in response to a local drought, was reportedly a success. Over the next 24 hours, the county received more than two inches of rain that, according to local officials, alleviated the drought, lowered the risk of forest fires and improved air quality.
It sounds like something out of a cartoon. But for decades, China has been home to one of the world’s most advanced weather-modification programs. Generally, its goals have been modest: more rain in arid places, less field-destroying hail and sunny days for big national events. But that modesty is starting to give way. Earlier this month, China announced plans to expand its rainmaking capabilities to cover nearly 60% of the country by 2025. Details are sketchy, but fears are rising about the potential military uses of these capabilities, and their effects on an already changing climate. For China, and the world, these concerns need to be addressed soon.
Read More at Bloomberg
Read the rest at Bloomberg