Cloud seeding is an artificial way of producing moisture in the clouds to make rain. It is a form of weather alteration. Just like a farmer sowing seeds in the field, which later grow to crops, in cloud seeding, the clouds are filled with ‘seeds’ to next fall as rain. The seeds are nothing but the silver iodide, potassium iodide, and dry ice.
For rain, the clouds showered with these ice crystals through airplanes or flares. The mist in the clouds compresses around the ice crystals and grow too heavy to stay floating. So, these droplets fall as rain.
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Condition Required For Cloud Seeding:
Right atmospheric conditions with plenty of clouds that are capable of rain required for cloud seeding. We cannot go and seed the clear skies. Clouds form from the condensation of hidden water vapor on nuclei from dirt, pollen, and salt from ocean splash. Cloud seeding improves the amount of these possible nuclei. Rain-drops or ice-crystals might not complete without these added nuclei.
Effective cloud seeding is only possible in the presence of clouds that are proficient in creating rain.
Advantages of Cloud Seeding:
1. It produces rain/mist.
2. It also improves water vapor that, in turn, stop damages gained by destructive hails and storms.
3. It saves the dry place from drought.
4. It can decrease crop destruction because of precipitation.
Disadvantages of Cloud Seeding:
1. It uses compounds that can harm the ecosystem, especially plants and animals.
2. Silver iodine is not currently known to be harmful to our health today, and it might change 3. in the future as more research is done.
4. This technique is usually used on clouds that already show early signs of rainfall, so it is not sure if it causes rain.
5. Since it modifies the weather, it might change the climatic patterns.
6. It is costly.
Interesting Facts About Cloud Seeding:
Vincent J.Schaefer invented cloud seeding.
Cloud seeding used earlier in the Vietnam War. The Department of Defense seeded clouds to extend the monsoon season along the Ho Chi Minh Trail during Operation Popeye (1967–72). The goal of the program was to deny the use of this significant supply route by flooding it.
The most extensive cloud seeding system in the world is China. China produces 55 billion tons of artificial rain per year. And it intends to quintuple that.
China used cloud seeding in Beijing just before the 2008 Olympics, to clear air pollution.
In the US, cloud seeding is used to enhance precipitation in regions undergoing dryness, to reduce the size of hailstones that form in thunders, and to reduce the amount of fog in and around airports.
In India, cloud seeding has been done by the Government of Tamil Nadu and Karnataka to produce rainfall in areas affected by dryness.