Australian scientists, who have produced the first robust proof that cloud seeding can increase long-term rainfall, are urging developing countries to be cautious while considering the technology.
Researchers from Monash University, Australia examined more than four decades of cloud seeding experiments in Tasmania, a southern island and found rainfall was at least five per cent higher over seeded areas.
However, Steven Siems, an associate professor of Monash University who led the research cautions that developing countries should carefully consider whether cloud seeding is right for them and avoid any unproven techniques.
“There are many, many unscrupulous people in the field of weather modification who up until now have promoted some methods without any proper scientific evidence. Developing countries are particularly at risk here,” said Siems, in a recent issue of the Journal of Applied Meteorology and Climatology.
Cloud seeding involves injecting clouds with chemicals that encourage water vapour to form ice crystals heavy enough to fall, melting on their way to produce rain. Chemicals can be injected into clouds using aircraft or by launching rockets.