Thursday, October 7, 2010


Today, finally, we have a real pea-souper. Grey grey grey. Is it the weather or pollution? I guess a bit of both. If there's cloud cover and no wind then you get a haze hanging over the city. Which brings us on to 'Cloudbusting' (remember Kate Bush's video with Donald Sutherland?) or, more accurately, 'Cloud Seeding' - the firing of silver nitrate compounds into clouds to make them rain (helping combat drought) and as a by-product creating clear skies (good for parades and major sporting events). I thought this was science fiction but I seem to remember talk of it around the Beijing Olympics. Actually, it's been around for decades. Israel is a leading exponent, USA too; Utah has apparently increased preciptation by 30% using the process. In China, apparently around 32,000 people are employed to fire the stuff into the skies using basic anti-aircraft guns and rocket launchers. Does it really work? Seems so. But it doesn't solve the pollution problems. For more, see this.

1 comment:

  1. If I remember correctly, it's Kurt Vonnegut's brother who was one of the main guys behind cloud seeding research.