Since 2013, China has been creating 55 billion tons of artificial rain a year. Beijing has a “development plan” for weather modification until 2020.
Traditionally, the rainmaking process or “cloud-seeding” means launching chemicals into clouds, which accelerate the creation of ice crystals that eventually become rain. China also uses military aircraft for those purposes.
Rainmaking is also a popular way to “clean up” air in China, where heavy smog is a big problem for many cities. In 2008, China launched over 1,100 rockets containing silver iodide into Beijing’s skies before the Olympics opening ceremony to disperse clouds and keep the Olympics rain-free.
More than 500 burners have been deployed on alpine slopes in Tibet, Xinjiang and other areas for experimental use. The data we have collected show very promising results,” an unnamed researcher told the Morning Post. “Sometimes snow would start falling almost immediately after we ignited the chamber. It was like standing on the stage of a magic show,” he said.
The Tibetan plateau is vital to the water supply for much of China and a large area of Asia. Its glaciers and reservoirs feed the Yellow, Yangtze, Mekong, and other major rivers that flow through China, India, Nepal, and other countries.
Sprayed from planes, the particles will provide something for passing water vapor to condense around, forming clouds. Those clouds will bring the rain. A single cloud-seeding chamber could create a strip of clouds covering a 5 km area.
RT.com / Crickey Global Conservation Society 2018.