Artificial Rain in China

It was a huge thunder-storm last night in Beijing, and all I could see was loud bolts of lightning that caused the ENTIRE sky to go white. But it didn’t rain, the weather just seemed to have fun being all thunderstormy.

So I googled weather in Beijing and came across something called “cloud seeding”. Turns out that thunderstorm is probably an artificial one created by the Chinese government as a means to produce rain and/or to clear pollution. 

Since China has horrendous air pollution (coal burning and mass amounts of cars on the road being the #1 culprits) as well as problems with water shortage, they have become the worlds biggest buyer of artificial rain.

The process of making is rain is called cloud seeding, the government of China spends roughly $60-$90 RMB annually on weather modification. Cloud seeding is conducted by about 35,000 skilled people across China who are paid to handle anti-aircraft guns and rocket launchers into the air. These heavy-duty weapons launch pellets containing silver iodide into clouds. Silver iodide is thought to concentrate moisture and cause rain. China has invested heavily in this technology, using more than 12,000 anti-aircraft guns and rocket launchers in addition to about 30 planes.

Sticking my tongue out to catch some of the rain I will not!


1 Comment

  1. I’d heard of cloud seeding before I moved here- but I can’t understand why the BJ government persists? It clearly doesn’t work here (in terms of making it rain) as there needs to be a certain amount of moisture in the air to start with. it’s bizarre! At least it provides jobs I guess 🙂

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