Innovations in Sciences, IT, Computers, Robotics and Nanotechnology

Artificial Rain through Cloud Seeding


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level: Cloud Seeding, Seeding Agents

Why in the news?

The Uttarakhand government faced scrutiny from the Supreme Court following Forest fires that claimed lives in the state.

  • Justices highlighted the inefficacy of relying solely on cloud-seeding or rain gods to address the crisis.

Case Study: Experimenting Artificial Rain in India

  • A recent study published in the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society (BAMS) highlighted the success of a cloud seeding trial in Maharashtra’s Solapur region, which resulted in an 18% increase in rainfall compared to normal patterns.
  • Scientists from the Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology in Pune and other institutes conducted this study.
  • The experiment targeted warm convective clouds with a height above zero degrees Celsius, releasing calcium chloride particles to stimulate rainfall.
  • Spanning from 2017 to 2019, the experiment analyzed 276 clouds using advanced tools like automatic rain gauges, radars, radiometers, and aircraft.
  • Glaciogenic seeding, attempted in clouds containing both ice and water, did not significantly impact rainfall at the seeding location, according to the study’s findings.

About Cloud-Seeding

  • Cloud seeding is a weather modification technique aimed at altering precipitation patterns by dispersing substances into clouds to stimulate rainfall or snowfall.
  • It is used to mitigate hail, disperse fog, and either induce precipitation or prevent it from occurring in subsequent days.
  • It involves the dispersal of substances like silver iodide, potassium iodide, dry ice, and hygroscopic materials such as table salt into the atmosphere.
  • Techniques include:
  1. Static seeding: promotes ice particle formation in supercooled clouds, and
  2. Dynamic seeding: enhances convective cloud development through the release of latent heat.
  • Dispersion methods range from aircraft and ground-based generators to newer approaches like drones delivering electric charges or infrared laser pulses.

Limitations: Impact on Environment and Health

  • Concerns persist regarding the potential accumulation of seeding agents in sensitive ecosystems, although detailed studies have shown negligible impacts.
  • The chemicals used, such as silver iodide, may potentially damage the environment and cause health issues like iodine poisoning in high concentrations


[2019] In the context of which of the following do some scientists suggest the use of cirrus cloud thinning technique and the injection of sulphate aerosol into stratosphere?

(a) Creating the artificial rains in some regions

(b) Reducing the frequency and intensity of tropical cyclones

(c) Reducing the adverse effects of solar wind on the Earth

(d) Reducing the global warming

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