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How China is trying to make it rain by shooting clouds

2022-08-18T16:47:41.228Z

The country is facing the worst heat wave in 60 years, sharply lowering the level of the Yangtze River, crucial for supply.



When the weather doesn't obey it, China flexes its muscles.

Faced with one of the worst droughts in its history, the world's second largest economy is trying to bring down the rain by shooting into the clouds, reports the American media CNN.

This technique poetically baptized "cloud seeding" consists of shooting, from planes or cannons on the ground, rods of silver iodide, a compound supposed to help in the formation of rain.

Read alsoExtreme temperatures, torrential rains, 500,000 displaced .... China faces an abnormal heat wave

These rods, the size of a cigarette in this case, are catapulted into existing clouds to help form ice crystals, making the moisture content heavier and more likely to be released, CNN reports.

'Cloud seeding', used in China since 1940, is said to have been used to clear the sky over Beijing during the 2008 Olympics and can also be used to knock down snow or soften hail.

But today, this technique is showing its limits: the cloud cover above the Yangtze River - completely dry - being too thin to bring rain, the authorities have been forced to stop the weather modification programs.

150,000 inhabitants lack water

This crucial river for the Asian giant crosses the country from East to West, passing through the province of Hubei in the center of the country and the city of Wuhan, before flowing into the China Sea at the level of Shanghai.

As in certain regions of France, the drought and the lack of rainfall for more than two months have considerably lowered the level of the river, and part of the population would lack water.

More than 150,000 inhabitants of Hubei province would encounter difficulties in accessing drinking water and nearly 400,000 ha of crops would also suffer, according to CNN.

The heat also forced authorities in southwestern Sichuan province, home to around 84 million people and a major industrial site, to order all factories to close for six days this week to prevent a shortage of food. electricity.

According to the National Climate Center, this heat wave, the longest since weather records began in 1961, could even get worse in the coming days.

Source: leparis

All tech articles on 2022-08-18

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