Cloud Seeding – Beat the Heat

cloud seeding

In this era of global warming, the average temperature is increasing day by day owing greatly to deforestation and pollution. Hundreds of people are dying because of the killer heatstroke a lot of people are praying for rain to bring down the temperature as well as the alarming death-toll. Even with the hope and confidence that their prayers will be answered, humans have not just sat back. Instead, they have sorted out the solution to the problem too; that is cloud seeding or yes, you can say artificial rain.

What is Cloud Seeding?
Cloud seeding is a technique used to alter the amount of precipitation falling from clouds by dispersion of various agents resulting in cloud condensation. Reasonably enough, as the name ‘seeding’ suggests, it involves putting seeds in the clouds eventually leading to rain water.

How is it done?
 There are various methods of cloud seeding, but all having the major goal of introducing some chemicals in the cloud which act as ice nucleators. Mostly these seeds are incorporated using airplanes.

Static Cloud Seeding:
The seeds aforementioned include silver iodide which acts as a medium for condensation. The already present water molecules condense on the silver iodide molecules making clouds more effective at dispensing the water.

Dynamic Cloud Seeding:
In this technique, the vertical air currents are boosted so that more water gets passed through the clouds thus getting translated into rain. However, this technique requires more effort and resources, needing 100 times more ice crystals.



Impact on Health and Environment:
NFPA has given silver iodide a rating of 2 on the hazard scale. With continued and intense exposure, this chemical leaves injuries on humans as well as mammals. However according to detailed studies the environmental and health impacts are negligible.

Cloud Seeding in Pakistan:
We have recently witnessed the intense heat wave in Karachi which killed more than 1000 mostly including the homeless and beggars. Now due to this high temperature, the government has put cloud seeding in Sindh under consideration. According to the Director General Ports and Shipping, Abdul Malik Ghauri, all arrangements have been made for this. In this scenario, the government would like to acquire 60 to 65 millimeter of rain from clouds some 2,500 to 3,000 feet about the ground. Sindh receives 176 millimeter of rain in an entire year, and this technique might prove to be an effective way to beat the heat.


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