For anybody who has watched the TV show, Spartacus, will know that gladiators were “sacrificed” in battles as offerings to the Gods to make it rain. Scientists now have the capacity to do this, however, they are not doing it at the expense of other humans. We can make it rain through cloud seeding. Are we seeing more lives lost through modern-day weather manipulation than these ancient practices?
Cloud seeding can be used to change the amount of precipitation falling from the sky or the type of precipitation falling from the sky. The process involves dispersing an aerosol into clouds, by shooting it from the ground or releasing it in a plan. Typically the chemicals used are silver iodide, potassium iodide, or dry ice.
The process of cloud seeding results in the microphysical process which clouds undergo being interrupted. It provides a surface for the water vapor to condense on, therefore, creating water droplets.
Cloud seeding offers human’s control over the uncontrollable. It can be used for economic gain for farming, disaster prevention for cyclones and floods, and for military purposes. The UN has banned whether manipulation in the war for both economic damage and military advantage. Interestingly, there has not been evidence of negative environmental or health-related impacts — the silver exposure has found to be negligible due to the solubility and amounts of the aerosols required to make it rain.
Vincent Schaefer and Bernard Vonnegu at General Electric seeded a cloud using dry ice in 1946. This feat of purposely making it snow from the cloud was the first of its kind and marked the beginning of humanity’s ability to use cloud seeding.
There you have it, Scientists can use cloud seeding to make it rain!