Cloud seeding is currently used all over the world—including
throughout the United States, China (where it is used to clear smog in
Beijing), India, and Russia—to enhance precipitation, both rain and
snow, while inhibiting hail and fog.
Cloud seeding takes effect by spraying microscopic particles like
aluminium oxide or silver iodide to affect the development of
condensation by acting as artificial ice nuclei.
The Sky’s the Limit
During its hosting of the 2008 Olympics, China went far beyond a
grandiose opening ceremony. The PRC reportedly had 30 airplanes,
4,000 rocket launchers, and 7,000 anti-aircraft guns on the ready to
obliterate any potential precipitation. This raises more than a few
technical and ethical questions, like “what are the environmental and
pathological consequences of spraying large amounts of silver iodide
into the atmosphere?” and “If China can stop rain on a whim for the
Olympics, what’s to keep them (or any nation) from weaponizing that
The UAE’s Ionizers: Tearing the Sky a New One
The United Arab Emirates is a land rich in wealth but poor in
precipitation. That’s why president Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al
Nahyan has had the nation’s top scientific minds secretly toiling for
years to create a new means of weather manipulation that would work
more effectively in the region’s extreme temperatures. The result: The
biggest Ionic Breeze on Earth.