China to build a rain-making network three times the size of Spain

Posted: March 26, 2018 by oldbrew in geo-engineering, innovation, News, weather

Tibetan Plateau region

This is industrial scale geo-engineering. From one researcher: “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.

China is testing cutting-edge defence technology to develop a powerful yet relatively low-cost weather modification system to bring substantially more rain to the Tibetan plateau, Asia’s biggest freshwater reserve, says the South China Morning Post.

The system, which involves an enormous network of fuel-burning chambers installed high up on the Tibetan mountains, could increase rainfall in the region by up to 10 billion cubic metres a year – about 7 per cent of China’s total water consumption – according to researchers involved in the project.

Tens of thousands of chambers will be built at selected locations across the Tibetan plateau to produce rainfall over a total area of about 1.6 million square kilometres (620,000 square miles), or three times the size of Spain.

The chambers burn solid fuel to produce silver iodide, a cloud-seeding agent with a crystalline structure much like ice.

The chambers stand on steep mountain ridges facing the moist monsoon from south Asia. As wind hits the mountain, it produces an upward draft and sweeps the particles into the clouds to induce rain and snow.

Continued here.

Footnote – the report concludes:
Beijing might not give the green light for the project…as intercepting the moisture in the skies over Tibet could have a knock-on effect and reduce rainfall in other Chinese regions.

  1. ivan says:

    The conclusion to the report shows that someone is at least thinking. I seam to remember that was the reason they stopped aerial cloud seeding.

  2. A C Osborn says:

    But, isn’t “burning” releasing those dreaded CO2 molecules?
    They aren’t putting themselves before the rest of the world are they?

  3. oldbrew says:

    ACO – apparently not…it must be friendly CO2 😉

    They also burn fuel as cleanly and efficiently as rocket engines, releasing only vapours and carbon dioxide, which makes them suitable for use even in environmentally protected areas.

    Communications and other electronic equipment is powered by solar energy and the chambers can be operated by a smart phone app thousands of kilometres away through the satellite forecasting system.

  4. Graeme No.3 says:

    Is that friendly CO2 the same as emitted by burning forests as distinct from the evil CO2 from coal?

    Here in Australia coal has become the new DEVIL for some; well it is black. And any connection with the money generated by selling overseas is sufficiently distant enough from the money they get from the Government that the believers can anathematize freely.

  5. oldbrew says:

    Graeme – there’s old coal and new coal in tech terms, but maybe people aren’t always aware of that.

    Of course induced ‘greenhouse gas’ phobia is clouding the issue.

    Is ‘clean coal’ power the answer to Australia’s emissions targets?

  6. J Martin says:

    China gets more rain but some other region or country then gets less.

  7. Graeme No.3 says:

    I long ago stopped reading theconversation and am rapidly losing interest in Josh Frydenberg, but yes, up-grading Australia’s coal fired fleet would reduce emissions from electricity generation. Currently Austrakia would emit about 1.3% of the world’s total CO2. Electricity generation is about 32% of that, so the politicians have signed up for 0.12% reduction, whereas improved efficiency would bring only 0.09% reduction. That should be read with the intent by China to increase world emissions by no more than 15% and the Indian target of 10% increase.
    Australia needs a new set of politicians.

  8. oldbrew says:

    Cloud seeding: Nice weather on order

    One day before the big military parade in Moscow, it is raining. Meteorologists have also predicted snow and rain for Tuesday. Nonetheless, the sun is likely to shine. How is that possible?

  9. These large scale projects (including its solar farms near Gobi desert) can help create employment amongst the local population in Xinjiang and Tibet, which would be goo to reduce the insurgency problems it faces there (esp in Xinjiang). Though not sure how many locals are indeed employed in these projects vis a vis Han Chinese migrant workers.
    Sourajit Aiyer, South Asia Fast Track