Sounds bizarre, I realize folks, but read on. SAMANTHA YOUNG writes in the AP via LA Times:
SACRAMENTO, CA — On a mountaintop clearing in the Sierra Nevada stands a tall metal platform holding a crude furnace and a box of silver iodide solution that some scientists believe could help offer relief from searing droughts.
This is a cloud-seeding machine designed to increase rainfall by spraying a chemical vapor into the clouds. Under the right conditions, it can help water droplets grow heavy, coalesce and fall to the ground.
Faced with water shortages, growing populations and the threat that climate change could make matters worse, governments around the globe have increasingly turned to cloud seeding in an attempt to wring more rain and snow from the sky.
But the efforts are threatened by budget cuts in states struggling to begin an economic recovery and by critics who insist the technique is unproven and might pose a threat to the environment.
“When there is a drought in a particular country, they start looking at alternative sources of freshwater, and cloudy air is one source,” said Duncan Axisa, a scientist at the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colo., who supports expanding cloud-seeding research.
Government agencies and utilities from California to North Dakota spend an estimated $15 million a year on cloud seeding, and the number of projects has jumped by nearly a third in the last decade.
Read More: AP via LA Times:
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