Definition | Cloud Seeding | Planet Futura

Cloud seeding is a technique used to edit precipitation. Basically, it involves introducing ice crystals or chemicals into the clouds to control the formation of precipitation. This method can be used to increase them in a given region, for example to combat drought or to disperse clouds to prevent precipitation unwanted, for example during special events outside airair. A technique that will spark debate because of its ecological and ethical implications.

We will tell you more, we will start from the beginning: what exactly is a cloud and what happens when it rains?

what is the cloud

Clouds are formed from water droplets or ice crystals suspended in the airatmosphere. Their appearance depends on the nature and size of the particles that make them up, as well as on lightlight which enlightens them. They may appear white, transparenttransparentor on the contrary severe and threatening depending on the weather conditions.

Inside the cloud are the particles inside movementmovement constant, merging, melting, evaporation, sublimation to form new droplets or crystalsthereby changing its shape and size.

These massesmasses airy and cottony formations are formed when saturated with air water steam encounter with cores condensationcondensationaround which the vapor condenses to form water droplets or ice crystals.

What happens when it rains?

When these particles that make up our clouds get heavy enough, they fall to earth as precipitation, boosting the supplyclean water from the ground.

There are two types of rain: warm rain, which forms in a cloud above freezing, and cold rain, which comes from thawthaw of snowflakes when the air exceeds 0 degree Celsiusdegree Celsius altitude.

Precipitation is necessary to maintain and support the planet’s water balance ecosystems… but sometimes it happens that they change them, because rainwater can be loaded with pollutants and impurities from human activity.

Although rain is necessary, it is not evenly distributed over the surface world. It occurs heavily in certain areas such as the west coast of Norway, especially the Bergen area, the coastal areas of southern India, Bangladesh and Vietnam, the Amazon and the Pacific Islands, especially Hawaii. Conversely, it is very rare in other parts of the world, such as the Australian outback, especially in central areas such as the Simpson Desert, the southwestern United States, southern Africa, the Sahara Desert, and Arabia, which spans several countries in the Middle East, such as Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates.

It is difficult for this natural division to coincide with our activities, and unsurprisingly we succumbed to the temptation rain and good weather thanks to a technique developed in the 1940s by the United States: cloud seeding.

What is cloud seeding?

L’cloud seeding is a technique that aims to increase precipitation by changing the composition of cloud cover. This method is based on the idea that precipitation forms when moleculesmolecules the water in the clouds clumps together to form drops heavy enough to fall to the ground. Dispersal of particles in clouds creates additional condensation points around which water can collect, increasing the likelihood of precipitation.

There are three main ways to deploy the cloud:

  • Seed by generatorsgenerators ground: ground equipment is used for spraying particleusually iodidemoneymoney or salt crystals, in the clouds above. These particles serve as condensation nuclei and help form water droplets.
  • Seed not fired on the ground: rocketsrockets responsible for particle they are drawn from the ground towards the clouds.
  • Airplane Seeding: Airplanes fly above the clouds and spray seed particles directly into the clouds.

In affected regions droughtcloud seeding can be used to increase rainfall and replenish water supplies.

This technique can also help prevent or extinguish forest fires creating wetter conditions.

It can also eliminate pollutant particles of air by dragging them towards the ground with precipitation.

Little is known, but cloud seeding is commonly used by French farmers who have generators and can protect their crops from hail.

A system toxic to the environment and with debatable effectiveness

Yes, but here’s the thing: if this technique is promising, it’s not conclusive! Relationship between cropping operations andincreased precipitation it remains a matter of debate, and the results of studies on this topic differ.

This does not prevent France from using it: the use of this technique for a given area is based on a joint decision of the prefecture and the National Association for the Study and Combat of Atmospheric Disasters, which act without any restrictions or regulations.

Then usesilver iodide raises legitimate concerns for the environment and human health, as this substance is extremely toxic ecosystemsecosystems aqueous.

Cloud seeding also raises ethical and political questions, especially when it comes to cloud ownership and natural resourcesand their sharing among different regions and countries: the most technologically advanced countries could privately appropriate the clouds and their poorer neighbors.

There is also an economic argument as cloud seeding is expensive and requires significant resources in terms of personnel, equipment and chemicals. Perhaps a little too much for a technique whose effectiveness is not proven.

Finally, the current lack of adequate regulation and international governance in the field of cloud seeding leaves room for abuse of this technique.

Yes, but what can we do instead?

Before artificially lowering water from the sky, it would be a matter of optimizing the use water resources existing systems by reducing, for example, water losses from existing systems, improving efficiencyirrigationirrigation agriculture and promoting more sustainable water use in residential, commercial and industrial sectors.

It is possible to resort to conservation and water storage the goal is to capture and conserve water during periods of heavy rain for later use during periods of drought.

We can also diversify water sources by desalination of sea water (technique, admittedly very polluting) or by reuse wastewaste treated for irrigation.

Integrated management BasinBasin aims to preserve and restore health aquatic ecosystemsdefend wet areawet area and charging areas aquifersaquifersand minimize erosion and pollution of surface and groundwater.

Finally, prevention is better than cure: develop and implement early warning systems droughttechniquesagricultureagriculture intelligent face to face climateclimateand resilient infrastructure can help mitigate impacts climate changeclimate change about water resources.

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