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When tech is raining and shining

What if it was possible to hack the weather? In July, the Chinese Communist Party was able to celebrate its centenary with a ceremony in Tiananmen Square … without a single drop of rain. A report from Tsinghua University in Beijing established that the government had artificially altered the weather to avoid a flood during the event.

There are actually a number of techniques – which we can collect under the name of geoengineering – to try to act on the weather, or its effects. How did Beijing do it? Quite simply by using technology called « cloud seeding », which could be translated as « cloud seeding ». The idea is indeed to integrate various substances, such as silver iodide or potassium iodide, into the clouds in order to cause precipitation at a specific location.

According to the Guardian, several thousand people are employed by the Weather Modification Office. Beijing plans to expand its program to cover an area of ​​5.5 million square kilometers, one and a half times the size of India.

China is not the only country to experiment with geoengineering, far from it. This is also the case for certain regions of Canada, the United States and even Russia. The idea is not only to provide pretty pictures of blue skies for important events: this « seeding » also helps to combat droughts, prevent hail from destroying crops and even fight forest fires. and dust storms. Provided, of course, to handle these techniques with care.

>> To read: « Weather modification: when China aims to make it rain and shine »

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