Cloud Seeding and Its uses

Cloud Seeding is a topic where many individuals are unaware about the artificial rain which is discovered and Researched by many Scientists around the world.

What Is a Cloud? Clouds are made up of tiny water droplets known as cloud droplets. Groups of cloud droplets form water vapor (gas) or ice crystals.  Water vapor isn’t dense sufficient to fall to the ground as precipitation. Instead, it rises into the sky and turns into supercooled. Eventually, it condenses (turns to a liquid) round tiny particles of dust within the sky. These tiny particles are known as condensation nuclei. It takes billions of those condensed water droplets to type a visual cloud. 

So what precisely is cloud seeding?

It is a solution to artificially tweak rain. It can be recognized by different phrase equivalent to man-made precipitation enhancement, artificial weather modification, rainmaking and so forth.

The technology sprays particles of salt like silver iodide and chloride on clouds utilizing a particular plane, rockets or from dispersion devices situated on the ground. 

These salt particles act as a core (cloud condensation nuclei or ice-nucleating particles) which draw water vapor throughout the cloud in the direction of them and the moisture latches on, condensing into water droplets resulting in the formation of raindrops.

Cloud Seeding

The purpose of cloud seeding is to change the natural improvement of the cloud to boost precipitation, suppress hail, dissipate fog, or reduce lightning.

Rainmaking has its roots in 1946 when American scientists Vincent Schaefer and Bernard Vonnegu at General Electric (GE) successfully seeded a cloud with dry ice after which watched the world’s first artificial snowfall from its base. 

According to the corporate, Schaefer climbed right into a small Fairchild airplane and tried to seed with dry ice a cloud floating above Schenectady in New York, United States. Schaefer was often known as the Snow Man ever since.

Since then, world scientific research and development have made cloud seeding a popular technique of rain enhancement, including in the world’s most arid regions.

Most cloud seeding actions are being undertaken primarily in response to cries of water shortages affecting agriculture and different societal needs, found a 2017 survey of World Meteorological Organisation members involved in weather modification.

At least 56 international locations, together with India, have energetic cloud seeding packages.

Is anybody doing cloud seeding in India?

Six years after Schaefer flew right into a cloud lacing it with dry ice, India, post-Independence sowed the seeds in the area of rainmaking. 

In 1952 late climatologist S. K. Banerji, the first Indian director-general of Indian Meteorological Department experimented with cloud seeding with salt and silver iodide via hydrogen-filled balloons released from the ground.

Tata companies additionally took stabs at seeding within the Western Ghats area in 1951 utilizing ground-based silver iodide generators. The Rain and Cloud Physics Research (RCPR) unit of Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology (IITM) in Pune carried out randomized warm cloud modification experiments via salt seeding during 1957-1966 in north India. Over the subsequent three decades, India experimented on this path in Maharashtra, Karnataka and Uttar Pradesh.


Research on this technique in India obtained a boost since 2018 with the Union Ministry of Earth Sciences investing in data collection and experiments. 

Research by the IITM in Pune, particularly over the past two years (2018 and 2019) will lead to a white paper with the scientific info on the bottom for cloud seeding, ought to states want to take it up as a measure to extend rainwater. 

While the Union Ministry of Earth Sciences has no plans to have a nationwide programme on seeding technique, it has already spent Rs 45 crore on analysis in 2018. In 2019, the work will proceed, costing a complete Rs 100 crore.

The IITM has initiated a nationwide level campaign designed to make progress in aerosol and cloud microphysics observations over the Indian region, which can be utilized to suggest tips for cloud seeding. The mission referred to as the Cloud-Aerosol Interaction and Precipitation Enhancement Experiment (CAIPEEX), can be focussing on aerosol-cloud-precipitation interactions within the pre-monsoon and monsoon atmosphere

Beset by drought and water crisis following deficient rainfall Maharashtra and Karnataka are gearing up for cloud seeding this year. The nation obtained 17 % much less rain than common because the advent of the monsoon on June 1.

Why Use Cloud Seeding? 

There are plenty of causes to make use of cloud seeding. Ski resorts use it to extend snowfall. Hydroelectric companies do too, as a result of extra snow means extra runoff within the spring. And extra runoff means extra water for electrical energy.

Cloud seeding can even clear away fog by turning it into precipitation. This might help enhance visibility around airports. 

In Alberta, cloud seeding is used to handle hail. It will increase the variety of ice pellets in hail-producing clouds. But it additionally decreases the scale of every pellet. This reduces the injury brought on by hail.

Are you questioning whether or not cloud seeding can be utilized to combat drought or forest fires Not essentially. Cloud seeding can’t create clouds. It can only add particles to clouds. These particles work together with the water vapor already present in the air.

But China, Russia, and Thailand have efficiently put out forest fires with cloud seeding. Scientists in Australia have additionally steered utilizing cloud seeding to get extra water from clouds when it does rain, then saving that water for times of drought.

What is the affect of cloud seeding? 

Despite rising reputation, there are numerous unknowns with cloud seeding. The success of the expertise and its long run impacts are nonetheless debated by scientists.

In 2003, the United States’ National Research Council (NRC) report on Critical Issues in Weather Modification Research highlighted the necessity to tackle key uncertainties in our understanding of cloud seeding. Studies have referred to as for investigations into the efficacy of cloud seeding and to quantify cloud seeding affect.

For instance, a current attempt to induce rain amid a prolonged drought in Sri Lanka has fallen short, drawing criticism, with experts calling for scientific assessments before expensive long-term packages are envisaged. But that hasn’t stopped the government from embracing the mission.

In the United Arab Emirates, heavy rainfall triggered by cloud seeding is claimed to have led to highway accidents.

But researchers are additionally soldiering on, looking into drones, nanotechnology and different disciplines to shore up cloud seeding science. Experts consider as climate change plays truant with rainfall and brings hotter situations to different parts of the world, governments will be looking out for newer and better technologies to cool things down.

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