Critical Issues in Weather Modification Research
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They believe that it increases the amount of rain over several increasingly arid regions, including its capital city, Beijing , by firing silver iodide rockets into the sky where rain is desired. There is even political strife caused by neighboring regions that accuse each other of "stealing rain" using cloud seeding. About 24 countries currently practice weather modification operationally. The snowfall in Beijing lasted for approximately three days and led to the closure of 12 main roads around Beijing. In India , cloud seeding operations were conducted during the years , —87, by Tamil Nadu Govt due to severe drought.
Cloud seeding operations were also conducted in the same year through US-based Weather Modification Inc. In Jakarta , cloud seeding was used to minimize flood risk in anticipation of heavy floods in , according to the Agency for the Assessment and Application of Technology. Israel has been enhancing rain in convective clouds since the s.
The practice involves emitting silver iodide from airplanes and ground stations. The seeding takes place only in the northern parts of Israel. To counter drought and a growing population in a desert region, Kuwait is embarking on its own cloud seeding program, with the local Environment Public Authority conducting a study to gauge its viability locally.
In Southeast Asia , open burning haze pollutes the regional environment. Cloud-seeding has been used to improve the air quality by encouraging rainfall. On 20 June , Indonesia said it will begin cloud-seeding operations following reports from Singapore and Malaysia that smog caused by forest and bush fires in Sumatra have disrupted daily activities in the neighboring countries. In cloud seeding was done daily in Malaysia since the haze began in early-August. Thailand started a rain-making project in the lates, known today as the Royal Rainmaking Project.
Its first efforts scattered sea salt in the air to catch the humidity and dry ice to condense the humidity to form clouds. The first field operations began in above Khao Yai National Park. Since then the Thai government claims that rainmaking has been successfully applied throughout Thailand and neighboring countries. Cloud seeding was used due to the low amount of rain causing low power generation from hydro in March The United Arab Emirates is one of the first countries in the Persian Gulf region to use cloud seeding technology.
It adopted the latest technologies available on a global level, using sophisticated weather radar to monitor the atmosphere of the country around the clock. In the UAE, cloud seeding is being conducted by the weather authorities to create artificial rain. The UAE has an arid climate with less than mm per year of rainfall , a high evaporation rate of surface water and a low groundwater recharge rate.
Although rainfall in the UAE has been fluctuating over the last few decades in winter season, most of that occurs in the December to March period. During the summer months, the prevailing Indian Monsoon drought effect leads to a build-up of cumulus clouds especially along the mountainous terrain in the eastern UAE. The UAE cloud-seeding Program was initiated in the late s. The UAE now has more 75 networked automatic weather stations distributed across the UAE, 7 air quality stations, a sophisticated Doppler weather radar network of five stationary and one mobile radars, and six Beechcraft King Air C90 aircraft for cloud seeding operations.
Natural salts such as potassium chloride and sodium chloride are used in these operations. Forecasters and scientists have estimated that cloud seeding operations can enhance rainfall by as much as 30 to 35 per cent in a clear atmosphere, and by up to 10 to 15 per cent in a turbid atmosphere. In the United States, cloud seeding is used to increase precipitation in areas experiencing drought , to reduce the size of hailstones that form in thunderstorms , and to reduce the amount of fog in and around airports.
Close , seeded a cloud with dry ice at the municipal airport during a drought; quickly 0. Cloud seeding is occasionally used by major ski resorts to induce snowfall. Eleven western states and one Canadian province Alberta have ongoing weather modification operational programs. The results were substantial, but caused an undue burden on the locals who experienced overpowering rainfall causing street collapses and mud slides.
PGE discontinued its seeding practices the following year. The US signed the Environmental Modification Convention in which banned the use of weather modification for hostile purposes. During the sixties, Irving P. This utilized both aircraft and ground-based generators that pumped silver iodide into the atmosphere in an attempt to reduce the threat of hail damage.
Bulgaria operates a national network of hail protection, silver iodide rocket sites, strategically located in agricultural areas such as the rose valley. Data collated since the s suggests huge agricultural sector losses are avoided yearly with the protection system, unseeded the hail will flatten entire regions, with seeding this can be reduced to minor leaf damage from the smaller hailstones that failed to melt.
Cloud seeding began in France during the s with the intent of reducing hail damage to crops. The Soviet Union created a specifically designed version of the Antonov An aerial survey aircraft, the AnM Sky Cleaner, with eight containers of solid carbon dioxide in the cargo area plus external pods containing meteorological cartridges that could be fired into clouds. Petersburg , President Putin commented that air force jets had been deployed to seed incoming clouds so they rained over Finland. Rain drenched the summit anyway. One of the bags did not pulverize and went through the roof of a house.
In Germany civic engagement societies organize cloud seeding on a region level. A registered society  maintains aircraft for cloud seeding to protect agricultural areas from hail in the district Rosenheim , the district Miesbach , the district Traunstein all located in southern Bavaria, Germany and the district Kufstein located in Tyrol, Austria.
The districts of Ludwigsburg , Heilbronn , Schwarzwald-Baar and Rems-Murr , as well as the cities Stuttgart and Esslingen participate in a program to prevent the formation of hailstones. Reports from a local insurance agency suggest that the cloud seeding activities in the Stuttgart area have prevented about 5 million euro in damages in while the project's annual upkeep is priced at only In Slovenia oldest aeroclub: Letalski center Maribor carries air defense against hail.
The Cessna is equipped with external aggregates and flares for flying. The purpose of the defense is to prevent damage to farmland and cities. They have been carrying out defense since Silver iodide is used as a reagent. The base is at Maribor Edvard Rusjan Airport. Project Cumulus was a UK government initiative to investigate weather manipulation , in particular through cloud seeding experiments, operational between and A conspiracy theory has circulated that the Lynmouth flood of was caused by secret cloud seeding experiments carried out by the Royal Air Force.
The Tasmanian experiments were so successful that the Commission has regularly undertaken seeding ever since in mountainous parts of the State. In , Snowy Hydro Limited began a trial of cloud seeding to assess the feasibility of increasing snow precipitation in the Snowy Mountains in Australia. The summit met with the intention of outlining a proposal for a 5-year trial, focusing on Northern NSW.
The various implications of such a widespread trial were discussed, drawing on the combined knowledge of several worldwide experts, including representatives from the Tasmanian Hydro Cloud Seeding Project however does not make reference to former cloud seeding experiments by the then-Snowy Mountains Authority, which rejected weather modification. The trial required changes to NSW environmental legislation in order to facilitate placement of the cloud seeding apparatus.
The modern experiment is not supported for the Australian Alps. In Mali and Niger , cloud seeding is also used on a national scale. The system was first used in Morocco in ; it has also been used between and in Burkina Faso and from in Senegal. For this program two aircraft were equipped with special instruments:.
Cloud seeding has been the focus of many theories based on the belief that governments manipulate the weather in order to control various conditions, including global warming , populations, military weapons testing, public health, and flooding. References by his son, James M Schaefer, Ph. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. See also: Chemtrail conspiracy theory. Bibcode : Sci Geophysical Research Letters. Bibcode : GeoRL.. New Scientist. Retrieved Scientific American. Retrieved 10 November Chemical and Engineering News. Committee on the Status and Future Directions in U. Retrieved 23 October Science Daily.
Archived from the original on BBC Today. Denver Post. However, some research indicates that silver toxicity is bio-accumulative in aquatic environments, causing respiratory distress to some species of fish Aquatic Toxicology Volume 49, Issues , May , Pages Ives, Eds. Final Report to the Bureau of Reclamation, pp. Archived from the original on September 12, Retrieved July 23, Archived from the original PDF on April 1, Retrieved September 11, For Your Information.
Galaxy Science Fiction. Passarelli, Jr. Retrieved on 15 April The Journal of Weather Modification. Retrieved 29 April BBC 19 February Archived from the original on November 23, Department of Science and Technology. Archived from the original on July 11, Retrieved 26 November Archived from the original on June 29, Retrieved June 28, Atmospheric Research. Bibcode : AtmRe. Retrieved 7 October Google Patents. Gulf News. National Center of Meteorology and Seismology.
National Center of Meteorology and Seismology official website. February 17, Water Online. Arabian Business. Robert E. Morrison and Mr. Senate, Vashington, D. The study reviews the history, technology, activities, and a number of special aspects of the field of weather modification. Activities discussed are those of the Federal, State, and local governments, of private organizations, and of foreign nations. Consideration is given to international, legal, economic, and ecological aspects. There are also an introductory chapter which includes a summary of issues, a chapter discussing inadvertent weather and climate modification, and a chapter summarizing recommendations from major Federal policy studies.
The study has been coordinated by Dr. John R. Justus, Analyst in Earth Sciences, and Dr. James E. Chapter 10 was prepared by Mrs. Lois B. Chapter 11 was written jointly by Mrs. Warren Viessman, Jr. William C. McHugh; appendixes D and S were prepared by Mrs. Jones; and information in the remaining appendixes was collected by Dr. I trust that this report will serve the needs of the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation as well as those of other committees and individual Members of Congress who are concerned with weather modification.
Media Advisory - April 21, 2008
On behalf of the Congressional Research Service, I wish to express my appreciation for the opportunity to undertake this timely and worthwhile assignment. Overview of State weather modification activities Introduction North American Interstate Weather Modification Council Survey and summary of State interests and activities in weather State contacts for information on weather modification activities- Non-Federal U. R Summary of weather modification and related atmospheric research in the U. R Israel Australia Canada Mexico People's Republic of Chn Kenya.
Statement on weather modification in Congressional Record of June 17, , by Congressman Gilb-ert Gude, containing White House statement on Federal weather modification policy B. Department of Defense statement on position on weather modification. Text of United Nations Convention on the prohibition of military or any other hostile use of environmental m odification techniques- D. State statutes concerning weather modification 14 Arizona California Coloado Connecticut Florida Hawaii Idaho Illinois Iowa Kansas Louisiana Minnesota List of Sltte contlvts for further information onvweathier modification a'-tivities within the Stite F.
Agree emenit on exchange oif informantion. Weather modification activities in the United States during calendar PaRe year H. Selected bibliography of publications in weather modification 1. Public laws dealing specifically with weather modification J. Summary of language in congressional documents supporting public works appropriations for the Bureau of Reclamation's atmospheric water resources K Membership and charter of the U. Rules and regulations and required forms for submitting information on weather modification activities to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, U.
Department of Commerce, in accordance with requirements of Public Law M. Selected State rules and regulations for the administration of State weather modification North Dakota Washington N. Documents of the Weather Modification Association- 0. Policy statement of the American Meteorological Society on purposeful and inadvertent modification of weather and climate P.
Reporting agencies of member countries and questionnaire circulated to receive weather modification information from members of the World Meteorological Organization Q.
- Critical issues in weather modification research (2003).
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Text of Senate Resolution 71; considered, amended, and agreed to July 11, S. Reported cases on T. Not all weather modification activities, however,, have been or can be designed to benefit everyone, and some intentional operations have been used, or are perceived to have been used, as a weapon of war to impede the mobility or tactical readiness of an enemy. Furthermore, environmental change is also effected unintentionally and without any purpose at all, as man inadvertently modifies the weather and climate, whether for better or worse scientists are not certain, through activities such as clearing large tracts of land, building urban areas, and combustion of fossil fuels.
Historically, there -have been attempts, often nonscientific or pseudoscientific at best to change the weather for man's benefit. Until the 20th century, however, the scientific basis for such activities was meager, with most of our current understanding of cloud physics and precipitation processes beginning to unfold during the 's.
The modern period in weather modification is about three decades old, datingr from events in , when Schaefer and Langmuir of the General Electric Co. Soon afterward it was discovered that fine particles of pure silver iodide, with crystal structure similar to that of ice, were effective artificial ice nuclei, and that seeding clouds with such particles could produce ice crystals at temperatures just below freezing. Through research programs over the past two decades, including laboratory studies and field experiments, understanding of atmospheric processes essential to improved weather modification technology has been advanced.
Sophisticated evaluation schemes have been developed, using elaborate statistical tools; there has also been improvement in measuring instruments and weather radar systems; and simulation -of weather processes rising numerical models and high speed computers has provided further insights. Meanwhile, commercial weather modifiers, whose number decreased ;dramatically along with the total area of. Since such operations are designed for practical results, such as increased precipitation or reduced hail, however, the sophisticated evaluation procedures now used in most research projects are most often not used, so that the effectiveness of the operations is frequently difficult to assess.
Weather modification is at best an emerging technology. Progress in development of the technology over the past 30 years has been slow, although there has been an increased awareness of the complex nature of atmospheric processes and a steady improvement in basic understanding of those processes which underlie attempts at deliberate modification of weather phenomena. Though most cloud-seeding practices are based on a common theory and form the basis for a number of seeding objectives, there are really a series of weather modification technologies, each tailored to altering a particular atmospheric phenomenon and each having reached a different state of development and operational usefulness.
For example, cold fog clearing is now considered to be operational, while, at the other extreme, the abatement of severe storms such as hurricanes remains in the initial research phase. Development progress for each of these technologies appears to be much less a function of research effort expended than a dependence on the fundamental atmospheric processes and the ease by which they can be altered. There continues to be obvious need for further research and development to refine those few techniques for which there has been some success and to advance technology where progress has been slow or at a virtual standstill.
The following summary provides a reasonably accurate assessment of the current status of weather modification technology: 1. The only routine operational projects are for clearing cold fog. Research on warm fog has yielded some useful knowledge and good models, but the resulting technologies are so costly that they are usable mainly for military purposes and very busy airports. Several longrunning efforts to increase winter snowpack by seeding clouds in the mountains suggest that precipitation can be increased by some 15 percent over what would have happened "naturally.
A decade and a half of experience with seeding winter clouds on the U. Hypothess and techniques from the work in one area are not directly transferable to other areas, but will be helpful in designing comparable experiments with broadly similar cloud systems. Numerous efforts to increase rain by seeding summer clouds in the central and western parts of the United States have left many questions unanswered. A major experiment to try to answer them-for the High Plains area-is now in its early stages. It is scientifically possible to open holes in wintertime cloud layers by seeding them. Increasing sunshine and decreasing energy consmption may he especially relevant in the northeastern quadrant of the United States.
XX' 7. Knowledge about hurricanes is improving with good models of their behavior. But the experience in modifying that behavior is primitive so far. It is inherently difficult to find enough test cases, especially since experimentation on, typhoons in the Western Paicific has been blocked for the time being by international political objections. Although the Soviets and some U. The one major U. There have been many efforts to suppress lightning by seeding thunderstorms. Our knowledge of the processes involved is fair, but the techinology is still far from demonstrated, and the U.
Forest Service has, recently abandoned further lightning experiments. Inadvertently, man is already causing measurable variations on the local scale. Artificial climatic effects have been ,observed and documented on local and regional scales, particularly in and downwind of heavily populated industrial areas where waste heat, particulate pollution and altered ground surface characteristics are primarily responsible for the perceived climate modification.
The climte in and near large cities, for example, is warmer, the daily range ,of temperattnr3 is less, and annual precipitation is greater than if the cities had never been built. Although not verifiable at present, the time miay not be far off when human activities will result in measurable large-scale changes in weather and climate of more than passing significance. N evertheless, a growing fraction of current evidence does point to the possibility of unprecedented impact on the global climate by human activities, albeit the effects may be occurring below the threshold where they could be statistically detected relative to the record of natuiral fluctuations and, therefore, could be almost imperceptible amid the ubiquitous variability of climate.
But while the degree of influence On world climate may as yet be too small to detect against the back'ound of natural variations and although mathematical models of climatic change are still imperfect, significant global effects in the future are inferred if the rates of growth of industry and population Persist. For over 30 years both legislative and executive branches of the Federal Government have been involved in a number of aspects of weather modification. Since about weather modification bills pertaining to research support, operations, grants, policy studies, regulations, liabilities, activity reporting.
Policy to Enhance the Atmospheric Environment," Oct. In testimony by Harlan Cleveland, Weather modification. House of Representatives, 95th Cong. Government Printing Office, XXII gress. Resolutions, mostly concerned with using weather modification as a weapon and promotion of a United Nations treaty banning such activities, have also been introduced in both houses of the Congress; one such resolution was passed by the Senate. Six public laws specifically dealing with weather modification have been enacted since , and others have included provisions which are in some way relevant to weather modification.
Federal weather modification legislation has dealt primarily with three aspects-research program authorization and direction, collection and reporting of information on weather modification activities, and the commissioning of major policy studies. In addition to direction through authorizing legislation, the Congress initiated one major Federal research program through a write-in to an appropriations bill; this program regularly receives support through additional appropriations beyond recommended OMB funding levels.
There are two Federal laws currently in effect which are specifically concerned with weather modification. Public Law , of December 18, , and its amendments requires the reporting of all nonFederal activities to the Secretary of Commerce and publication "from time to time" of summaries of such activities by the Secretary of Commerce.
The Secretary appointed a non-Government Weather Modification Advisory Board to conduct the mandated study, the report on which is to be submitted to the Secretary for her review and comment and subsequent transmittal to the President and the Congress during It is expected that, following receipt of the aforementioned report, the Congress will consider legislation on Federal weather modification policy, presumably during the 96th Congress.
Biggest Cloud-Seeding Experiment Yet Only Sparks More Debate | Live Science
Congressional interest in weather modification has also been manifested in a number of hearings on various bills, in oversight hearings on pertinent ongoing Federal agency programs, in consideration of some 22 resolutions having to do with weather modification, and in commissioning studies on the subject by congressional support agencies. The principal involvement in weather modification of the Federal Government has been through the research and development programs of the several Federal departments and agencies.
Although Federal research programs can be traced from at least the period of World WTar II, the programs of most agencies other than the Defense Department were not begun until the 's and 's. In fiscal year 2 Although FederalI ngencles were excinled from the requirements of this act. XMiliI six agency programs were reported', those of Transportation an 'd NASA having been phased out, while that of 'Agriculture was severely curtailed.
The NSF has supported Iweather, modification research over a broad. The present structure of Federal organization for weather modification research activities is characterized essentially by the missionoriented approach, whereby each of the agencies conducts its own program in accordance with broad agency goals or under specific directions 'from the Congress or the Executive. The ICAS, established in by the former Federal Council for Science and Technology, provides advice on matters related to atmospheric science in general and has also been the principal coordinating mechanism for Federal research in weather modification.
In the National Science Foundation was designated lead agency for Federal weather modification research by Public Law , a role which it maintained until , when Public Law removed this responsibility from NSF. No further action was taken to name a lead agency, although, there have been numerous recommendations to designate such a lead agency, and several bills introduced in the Congress wo uld have named either the Department of the Interior or the Department of Commerce in that role.
During the year period from to 19,68 the NSF promoted a vigorous research program through grants to various research organizations, established an Advisory Panel for Weath er Modification, and published a series of 10 annual reports on weather modification activities in the United States. Since there has been a lapse in Federal weather modification policy and in the' Federal structure for research programs, although, after a hiatus of over 3 years, the responsibility for collecting and disseminating information on weather modification activities was assigned to the Commerce Department in An important consideration -of any future weather modification legislation will probably -be the organizational structure of the Federal research program and that for administration of other related functions which may be the responsibility of the Federal Govern 'ment.
Options include a continuation of the present mission-oriented approach with coordination through the WCAS or a similar interagency body, redesignation of a lead agency with some autonomy remaining with the several agencies, or creation of a single agency with control of all funding and all research responsibilities. The latter could be an independent agency or part of a larger department; it would presumably also administer other aspects of Federal weather modification responsibilities, such as reporting of activities, XXIV regulation and licensing, and monitoring and evaluation of operations, if any or all of these functions should become or continue to be services performed at the Federal level.
In addition to specific research programs sponsored by Federal agencies, there are other functions related to weather modification which are performed in several places in the executive branch. Various Federal advisory panels and committees and their staffs--established to conduct in-depth studies and prepare comprehensive reports, to provide advice and recommendations, or to coordinate Federal weather modification programs-have been housed and supported within executive departments. The program whereby Federal and non-Federal U. The State Department negotiates agreements with other nations which might be affected by U.
In the United Nations, the United States has been active in promoting the adoption of a treaty banning weather modification as a military weapon. In accordance with the mandates of several public laws or self-initiated by the agencies or interagency committees, the executive branch of the Federal Government has undertaken a number of major weather modification policy studies over the past 25 years.
Each of the completed major studies was followed by a report which included findings and recommendations. The most recent study is the one noted earlier that is being conducted by the Weather Modification Advisory Board on behalf of the Secretarv of Commerce, pursuant to requirements of the. National Weather Modification Policy Act of Nearly all previous studies emphasized the needs for designation of a lead agency, increased basic meteorological research, increased funding, improvement of support and cooperation from agencies, and consideration of ]eoral.
Other recommendations have included improvement of program evaluation, stnudv of inadvertent effects, increased regulation of activities, and a number of specific research projects. Although some of the recommended activities have been undertaken. Almost invariably it was pointed out in the Studies that considerable progress would result from increased fundimi Although funding for weather modification research has increased over the past 20 years, most funding recommendations have been for eoniderablv higher levels than those provided.
Since fiscal year , the total Federal research funding for weather modification research I in fact. Most States in the. A State's weather modification law usually reflects its general policy toward weather modification; some State' laws tend to en- XXV courage development and use of the technology, while others discourage such activities.
The current legal regime regulating weather modification has been developed by the States rather than the Federal Government, except in the areas of research support, commissioning studies, and requiring reporting of activities. Administration of the regulatory and managerial responsibilities pertaining to weather modification within the States is accomplished through an assortment of institutional structures, including departments of water or natural resources, commissions, and special governing or advisory groups.
Critical Issues in Weather Modification Research
Often there is a combination of two or -more of these agencies or groups in a State, separating functions of pure administration from those of appeals, permitting, or advisory services. Involvement in weather modification operational and research programs varies from State to State. Some support research only, while others fund and operate both research and operational programs. In some cases funding only is provided to localities, usually at the county level, where -operational programs have been established.
The recent drought led some Western States to initiate emergency cloudseeding progr. Research conducted by atmospheric and other scientists at State universities 'or oth er research agencies may be supported in part with State funds but is often funded by one of the major Federal weather modification programs, such as that of the Bureau of Reclamation or the National Science Foundation.
In a few cases, States contribute funds to a Federal research project which is conducted jointly with the States and partly within their borders. In , , and , respectively, there were 58, 61, and 88 nonfederally, supported weather modification projects, nearly all operational,' conducted throughout the United States. These projects were sponsored by community associations, airlines, utilities, private interests, municipal districts, cities, and States. Eighty-five percent of all projects in the United States during were carried out west of Kansas City, with the largest number in California.
In that State there were 11 proiects in each of thie years and , and 20 projects during The majority of these operational projects were designed to increase precipitation; others were intended' for suppression of hail or dispersal of fogs, the latter principally at airports. In most instances, the principal beneficiaries of weather modification are the local or regional -users, who include farmers and ranchers,, weather-related industries, municipalities, airports, and utilities- XXVI those individuals and groups whose economic well-being and whose lives and property are directly subject to adverse consequences of drought or other severe weather.
It is at the local level where the need to engage in weather modification is most keenly perceived and also where possible negative effects from such activities are most apparent to some sectors of the population. It follows that both the greatest support and the strongest opposition to weather modification projects are focussed at the local level.
The popularity of a particular project and the degree of controversy surrounding it are frequently determined by the extent to which local citizens and local organizations have had a voice in the control or funding of the project. At the local level, deci' sions to implement or to withdraw from a project can most often be plade with minimum social stress.
Indeed, studies have shown that most people are of the opinion that local residents or local government officials should make decisions on whether or not to use weather modification technology in a given situation. Many of the operational weather modification services provided for private groups and governmental bodies within the States are carried out under contract by commercial firms who have developed expertise in a broad range of capabilities or who specialize in particular services essential to both operational or research projects.
Contracts may cover only one season of the year, but a number of them are renewed annually, with target areas ranging from a few hundred to a few thousand square miles. The initial role of the private weather modification operators was to sustain activities during the early years, when there was often heated scientific controversy with other meteorologists over the efficacy of cloud seeding.
Later, their operations provided a valuable data base which permitted the early evaluation of seeding efforts and estimates of potential prospects for the technology, meanwhile growing in competence and public respect. Today, more often than not, they work hand in hand with researchers and, in fact, they often participate in research projects, contributing much of their knowhow acquired through their unique experiences.
Important among private institutions concerned with weather modification are the professional organizations of which research and operational weather modifiers and other interested meteorologists are members. Through the meetings and publications of these organizations the scientific, technical, and legal problems and findings on weather modification are aired and discussed. Tlse groups also address other matters such as statements of weather modification policy, opinions on pending legislation, social implications, and professional standards and certification.
States and Canadian Provinces and the Government of Mexico, which serves as a forum for interstate coordination and exchange of information. Weather modification is often controversial, and both formal and informal opposition groups have been organized in various sections of the country. Reasons for such opposition are varied and are based on Ixth real and perceived adverse consequences from weather modification.
Sometimes with little or no rational basis there are charges by these groups that otherwise unexplained and usually unpleasant weather-related events are linked to, cloud seeding. There are also cases where some farmers are economically disadvantaged through receiving m-ore, or less than optimum rainfall for their particular crops, when artificial inducement of such conditions may have indeed been planned to benefit those growing different crops with different moisture requirements.
Opposition groups are often formed to protect 'the legitimate rights of farmers under such circumstances. While the United States 'is the -apparent leader in weather modification research 'and 'operations, other -countries have also been active. Information on foreign weather modification activities is not uniformly documented and is not always available.
In an 'attempt to assemble uniform weather modification 'activities information of its member nations, the World Meteorological Organization WMO in h instigated a system of reporting'and of maintaining a register on such adivities. Under this 'arrangement nations reported weather modification projects during , and 16 countries provided similar information in The largest weather modification effort outside the United States is in the Soviet Union, where there are both a continuing research program and an expanding operational program.
The latter is primarily a program designed to reduce crop damage from hail, the largest such effort in the world, covering about 5 million hectares 15 million acres in Other countries with weather modification programs of some note include Canada, Israel, Mexico, 'and ,the People's Republic o'f China. Recent years have seen increas 'ed international awareness of the potential benefits and possible risks of weather modification teclrnology and increased international efforts to control such activities.
The major 'efforts of the international community in this area are to encourage and maintain the high level of cooperation which currently exists in weather prediction and research and to insure that man's new abilities will be used for peaceful pur-poses.
CRITICAL ISSUES IN WEATHER MODIFICATION RESEARCH
There has been exchange of ideas on weather modification through international conferences and through more informal exchanges of scientists and research documents. As with many scientific disciplines, however, the problems arising from -use of and experiments with weather modification are not just scientific in nature, but are political problems as well. In addition to the problems of potential damage to countries through commercial or experimental weather modification activities, another growing area of concern is that weather modification will be used for hostile purpose s and that the future will bring weather warfare between nations.
The United States has already been involved in one I XXVIII such instance during the Vietnam war when attempts were maide to impede traffic by increasing rainfall during the monsoon season. In the future, even the perception that weather modification techniques are available or in use could lead to an increase in international tensions.
Natural drought in a region, or any other natural disaster will be suspect or blamed on an enemy. In light of these problems the international community has made scattered attempts both to further the study of weather and its modification and to insure the peaceful use of this new technology. Senate for ratification. Another example of promotion of peaceful use of weather modification is the Precipitation Enhancement Program, sponsored by the WMO, whose aim is to plan, set up, and carry out an international, scientifically controlled precipitation experiment in a semiarid region of the world under conditions where the chances are optimal for increasing precipitation in sufficient amounts to produce economic benefits.
The United Nations Conference on the Human Environment, held in June in Stockholm, has been the pivotal point in much recent international environmental activity. It too has been an important catalyst in international activities relating to weather modification through portions of its "Declaration," its "Action Plan for the Human Environment," its "Earthwatch Program," and its "Study of Man's Impact on Climate.
They can be considered in at least four broad categories: private rights in the clouds, liability for weather modification, interstate legal issues, and international legal issues. Since the body of law on weather modification is slight, existing case law offers few guidelines to determine these issues. Regarding the issue of private rights in the clouds, there is no general statutory determination of ownership of atmospheric water, so it is often necessary to use analogies to some general common law doctrines pertaining to water distribution, although each such doctrine has its own disadvantages when applied to weather modification.
Some State laws reserve ownership or right to use atmospheric water to the State. Issues of liability for damage may arise when drought, flooding, or other severe weather phenomena occur following attempts to modify y the weather. Such issues include causation, nuisance, strict liability, trespass, negligence, and charges of pollution of the air and water through introdiiction of artificial nucleants.
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Statutes of 10 States discuss weather modification liability; however, there is much variation among the specific provisions of the laws in those States. Before a case can be made for liability based on causation, it must be proven that the adverse weather conditions were indeed induced by the weather modifier: but, in fact, no one has ever been able to establish causation of ainages through such activities in view of the scientific uncertainties of weather modification.
XXIX Significant issues may arise when weather modification activities conducted in one State affect another State as well. There may be, for example, the claim that seeding in one State has removed from the clouds water that should have fallen in an adjacent State or that excessive flooding resulted from cloud seeding in a State upwind. Operation of cloud-seeding equipment near the border of one State may also violate local or State regulations or prohibitions of such operations in that State.
There have been some attempts to resolve these and other issues through specific legislation in some States and through informal bilateral agreements. While no formal compacts currently exist, some compacts allocating waters in interstate streams may be applicable. Because atmospheric processes operate independent of national borders, weather modification is inherently of international concern, and. Whereas domestic weather modification law is confused and unsettled, international law in this area is barely in the formative stage. In time, ramifications of weather modification may lead to major international controversy.
Whereas the potential for long-term economic gains through weather modification cannot be denied, current economic analyses are tenuous in view of present uncertainty of the technology and the complex nature of attendant legal and economic problems. Economic evaluation of weather modification activities has therefore been limited to special, localized cases. Costs of most weather modification operations are generally small in relation to other costs in agriculture, for example, and are normally believed to be only a fraction of the benefits which could be achieved from successful operations.
However, if all the benefits and all the costs are considered, benefit-cost ratios may be diminished. While direct costs and benefits from weather modification are reasonably apparent, indirect costs and benefits are elusive and require further study of sociological, legal, and ecological implications. There are numerous cases of both real and perceived economic losses which one or more sectors of the public may suffer while another group is seeking economic advantage through some form of weather modification.
Overall benefits from weather modification are accordingly reduced when net gains are determined from such instances of mixed economic advantages and disadvantages. In fact, when mechanisms are established for compensating those who have suffered losses resulting from weather modification, benefits to those groups seeking economic gain through such projects will probably be accordingly reduced.
Prediction of ecological effects may never be possible with any precision; however, the greater the precision with which the weather modifier can predict results of his activities, the more precisely can the ecologist predict ecological effects. Such effects will rarely be sudden or catastrophic, but will result from moderate weather-related shifts in rates of reproduction, growth, and mortalityof plants and animals.
Adjustments of plant and animal communities will thus occur more slowly in regions of highly variable weather than in those with more uniform conditions which are slowly changing with some regularity over time. Deliberate weather modification, such as: precipitation augmentation, is likely to have a greater ecological impact in semi-arid regions than in humid ones. Widespread cloud seeding, using silver iodide, could result in estimated local, temporary increases in silver concentrations in precipitation approaching those in natural waters, but exchange rates would be ain order of magnitude lower than the natural exchange r-ates.
Exchange rates will likely be many orders of magnitude less than those rates at which plants and soils are adversely affected. Conclusiovs 1. Weather modification is an emerging technology; there is a wide spectrum of capabilities to modify various weather phenomena, ranging from the operational readiness of cold fog dispersal to little pr'ogress beyond initial research in the case of modifying severe storms such as hurricanes.
Along with cold fog dispersal, the only other weather modification capability showing near readiness for application is the augmentation of winter snowpack through seedingr mountain cloud systems. A probable increase of about 15 percent is indicated by a number of experiments and longrunning operational seeding projects in the western United States.
Most scientists and weather modification operators agree that there is continued need for a wide range of research and development activity both to refine weather modification techniques where there has been some success and to advance capabilities in modifying other weather phenomena where there has been much less or little progress. Current Federal policy. The structure of Federal organization for weather modification reflects the mission -oriented approach which is characteristic of the current Federal policy, ti e programs loosely coordinated through advisory groups and the Interdepartmental Committee for Atmospheric Sciences.
A number of major weather modification policy studies have been directed by public law or initiated within the executive branch w'-er XXXI. Although some, recommended actions have been undertaken, others have not seen specific action to date. While major policy studies have recommended increased fundingZ With enactment of the National Weather Modification PolicN7 Act of and completion of the major policy study mandated bV that act, there is a fresh opportunity for the Congress to assess tl e potential usefulness and problems in application of weather modification technology and to establish a new Federal policy for weather modification research and operations.
The principal role in regulating weather modification and in supporting operational programs has been taken by the States, while the role of the Federal Government has been support of research and development programs. The majority of the States 29 have some form of law which relates to weather modification, and the general policy of a State toward -weather modification is usually reflected in the weather i-aodification law of that State; laws of some States tend to encourage development and use of the technology, while others discourage suCh activities.
Both the greatest support and the strongest opposition to weather modification projects are focused at the local level, where the economic and personal interests of local organizations and individuals are most directly affected; it follows that there is also the least social stress when decisions to apply or withhold weather modification are made at the local level. Commercial weather modification operators have substaiiicd activities since the early days, after which some operations fell into disrepute, providing a valuable data base for evaluation of long-term projects and developing expertise over a broad range of capabilities: most have incorporated improvements into their te chnologo as they have benefited from accumulated experience and from research results.
While the United States is the apparent leader in overall researeli and operational weather modification activities, there have been approximately 20 foreign countries in which activities are conducted annually 25 countries reported such projects for through the r sister of the World Meteorological Organization ; the largest foreign program is that of the Soviet Union, whose operational hail suppression program covered about 15 million acres in , the largest such effort in the world.
XXXII The international community has attempted to further the study of weather modification and insure its peaceful use through the recent development of a Convention on the Prohibition of Military or Any Other Hostile Use of Environmental Techniques adopted by the L. General Assembly and opened for signature in May and through sponsorship by the World Meteorological Organization of an international precipitation enhancement program. Legal issues in weather modification are complex and unsettled; they include resolution of problems of ownership of atmospheric water, i siiCS of liability, conflicting statutes and regulations of respective S tat-e laws, and the need to develop a regime of relevant international l aw.
Although the long-term potential for economic gains through welither modification cannot be denied, attempts to quantify benefits -and costs from such activities will in most cases be difficult to undertake oii a practical basis until the technology is more highly developed and control systems are perfected to permit reliable predictions of out comes. Modification processes may also be initiated or triggered inatdvertently rather than purposefully; man is already causing measurable variations unintentionally on the local scale, and artificial climate effects have been observed on local and regional scales.
Although not verifiable at present, the time may not be remote when human activities will result in measurable large- scale changes in weather and climate o f AmIore than passing significance. This is certainly a matter which should be studied assiduously and explored vigorously. The first steps are clear. In order to control meteorological matters at all we need to understand them, better than we 'now do. IWhen we understand fully we can at least predict weather with assurance for reasonable intervals in the future.
L'y all means let us get at it. There is a great difference of opinion, however, on the state of technology in this field. According to Grant, "Some believe that weather modification is now ready for widespread application. In strong contrast, others hold that application of the technology may never be possible or practical on any substantial scale. Nevertheless, a systematic approach and reasonable progress in development of weather modification technology have been impeded by a number of problems.
Changnon asserts that a continuing and overriding problem rest ricting progress has been the attempt to apply an ill-defined technology to increase rain or suppress hail without an adequate scientific under' From statement of Dec. Government Printing Office. This was one of the major areas of consensus at a recent syniposium on the uncertainties of weather modification: There will be increased attempts to modify weather, both because people tend to do what is technically possible and because the anticipated benefits of precipitation augmentation, hail or lightning suppression, hurricane diversion, and other activities often exceed the associated costs.
According to Fleagle, et al.. Stanley A.. Robert G.. I3 ro. Earl G.. Funding From All Sources. I nt,,ragency Coordination , background paper prepared for use of the U. Williaml A. Robedrt G.. J:mes A.
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Ralph W. The slow and sober business of piecing together the scientific knowledge of weather processes, developing the capacity to model the complex systems involved, and assessing systematically the results of modification efforts has led to responsible optimism about the future of these new technologies.
On the other hand, the "social technology" of evaluation, choice, and execution has lagged badly. The present dCcisionmaking apparatus appears woefully inadequate to, the extraordinarily difficult task of fitting weather modification into man's pattern of life in optimal fashion.
There are too many game plans, too many coaches. Mounting evidence indicates that weather modification of several types is, or may soon become technically feasible. That some groups will derive economic or other social benefits from such technology is a spur to action. But a whole thunderhead of critical questions looms on the horizon waiting to be resolved before any valid decisions can be made about the scale, composition, location, and management of possible operations.
Newell highlighted the potential benefits of intentional weather modificatio-o : The Earth's weather has a profound influence on agriculture, forestry, water resources-, industry, commerce, transportation, construction, field operation,, commercial fishing, and many other human activities. Adverse effects of weather on man's activities and the Earth's resources are extremely costly, amounting to billions of dollars per year, sometimes causing irreparable damage as when human lives are lost in severe storms.
There is, therefore, great motivation to develop effective countermeasures against the destructive effects of weather, and, conversely, to enhance the beneficial aspects. The financial and other benefits to human welfare of being able to modify weather to augment water supplies, reduce lightning, suppress hail, mitigate tornadoes, and inhibit the full development of hurricanes would be very great. Battan gave the following two reasons, with graphic examlnpes, for wanting to change tile weather: First, violent weather kills a great many people and does enormous property.
A single hurricane that struck East Pakistan in November killed more than , people in a single day. An outbreak of tornadoes in the Chicago area on Palm Sunday of killed about people. Storms kill people and damage Property, and it is reasonable to ask whether it is necessary for us to accept this type of geophysical destruction. I say, "No, it is not-it should be possible to do something. Second, weather modification involves, and in some respects might control, the production of those elements we need to survive.
Water and food are currently in 'short supply in many areas, and these shortages almost certainly will be more severe in the future. We can develop new strains of wheat and rye and corn and soybeans and rice, but All is for naught if the weather fails to cooperate. If the monsoons do not deliver on schedule in India, residents of that country starve in large numbers. And if the drought that people have been Predicting for the last several years does spread over the Great Plains, there will be starvation around the world on a scale never before experienced. Weather is the one uncontrollable factor in the whole business of agriculture.
It may be impossible SCrivtehfield, Jamnes, A.. Derrick Sewell editor. Although it is clear that weather disasters can be mitigated only partially through weather modification, even if the technology were fully developed, the potential value, economic and otherwise, should be obvious. The following quotation from a Federal report written over a decade ago summarizes the full potential of benefits to mankind which might be realized through use of this technology: With advances in his civilization, man has learned how to increase the fruit of the natural environment to insure a livelihood.
An appraisal of the prospects for deliberate weather and climate modification can be directed toward the ultimate goal of bringing use of the environment into closer harmony with its capacities and with the purposes of man-whether this be for food production, relief from floods, assuring the continuance of biologic species, stopping pollution, or for purely esthetic reasons. TABLE 1. White and J. NSF , Washington, D.
Activities and interests among scientists, the commercial cloud seeders, and Government sponsors and policynakers have exhibited a nearly year cyclic behavior over the ensuing years. The first such period ended with the publication of the final report of the Advisory Committee on Weather Control in Robert Brode, then Associate Director of the National Science Foundation, summarized the significance of that study in a congressional hearing: For 4 years the Advisory Committee studied and evaluated public and private cloud-seeding experiments and encouraged programs aimed at developing both physical and statistical evaluation methods.
During that year, or thereabouts, planning reports were also produced by most of the Federal agencies with major weather modification programs. The significance of that year of reevaluation and the timeliness for congressional policy action were expressed by Hartman in his report to the Congress: It is especially important that a comprehensive review of weather modification be undertaken by the Congress at this time, for a combination of circumstances prevails that may not be duplicated for many years.
For the first time since there now exists, in two reports prepared concurrently by the National Academy of Sciences and a Special Commission on Weather Modification, created by the National Science Foundation, a definitive appraisal of the entire scope of this subject, the broad sweep of unsolved problems that are included, and critical areas of public policy that require attention.
There are currently before the Congress several bills which address, for the first time since enactment of Public Law And there is increasing demand throughout the country for the benefits that weather modification may bring. Recommendations of the final report are summarized in ch. Other reports mentioned in the following paragraphs in this section are also discussed and referenced in chs. Congress, House of Representatives. Committee on Science ,rd Astronautics.
Issued as a committee print by the Senate Committee on Commerce. Government Printing Office, , p. General Accounting Office and by the U. Domestic Council. The major study of this period was commissioned by the Congress when it enacted Public Law , the National Weather Modification Policy Act of , in October of By that law the Secretary of Commerce was directed to conduct a study and to recommend the Federal policy and a Federal research program in weather modification.
That study was conducted on behalf of the Secretary of Commerce by a Weather Modification Advisory Board, appointed by the Secretary, and the required report will be transmitted to the Congress during The importance of that act and its mandated study was assessed by Dr. Robert M. The comprehensive study of and report on weather modification that will result from our implementation of this a t will provide guidance and recommendations to the President and the Congress in the areas of policy, research, and utilization of this technology.
We look to this study and report as an opportunity to help set the future course of a controversial science and technology with enormous potential for benefit to the Nation. Thus, conditions once more are ripe and the stage has been set, as in and again in , for the Congress to act in establishing a definitive Federal weather modification policy, one appropriate at least for the next decade and perhaps even longer. Among other considerations, such a policy would define the total role of the Federal Government, including its management structure, its responsibilities for research and development and for support operations, its authorities for regulation and licensing, its obligation to develop international cooperation in research and peaceful applications, and its function in the general promotion of purposeful weather modification as an economically viable and socially accepted technology.
Oin the other hand, other factors, such as constr saints arising from public concern over spending, may inhibit the development of such policy. While some would argue that there exists no Federal policy, at least one White House official, in response to a letter to the President, made a statement of weather modification policy in A considerable amount of careful thought and study has been devoted to the subject of weather modification and what the Federal role and, in particular, the role of various agencies should be in this area.
As a result of this study, we have developed a general strategy for addressing weather modification efforts which we believe provides for an appropriate level of coordination.