Wednesday, February 11, 2009

China resorts to cloud-seeding for drought relief

China is firing rockets packed with "cloud-seeding chemicals" into the sky to fight its worst drought in half a century, reports CNN. Sounds like voodoo to Pound360. Does this really work? Isn't this just robbing Peter to pay Paul?

Pound360 did a little browsing and found cloud seeding is pretty common in the People's Republic (
Wikipedia). It's even used a bit in the United States to increase precipitation and reduce the size of hailstones.

But the practice remains controversial. It seems that seeding can alter the size and structure of clouds, but it's disputed whether or not it actually increases rainfall.

As a general rule, Pound360 doesn't like putting chemicals into the sky. We already put enough garbage up there. And if you're going to do it, you better make sure it's something you know is going to work.

(image by
barto via flickr)

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I started pound360 to channel my obsession with vitamins, running and the five senses. Eventually, I got bored focusing on all that stuff, so I came back from a one month hiatus in May of 2007 (one year after launching Pound360) and broadened my mumblings here to include all science.