Cloud Seeding Current Affairs - 2019
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Reeling under drought the government of Karnataka is planning for cloud seeding project to influence the upcoming monsoon and capture as much water as possible from the rain clouds. The government of Karnataka has called the tenders for cloud seeding operations to enhance rainfall during the monsoons of 2019 and 2020. The cost is expected to be Rs 50 cr per year.
What is Cloud Seeding?
Cloud Seeding is a process of intervening chemically to induce precipitation rain or snow from clouds. Rain occurs when moisture in the air reaches levels at which it can no longer be held.
Cloud seeding aims to facilitate and accelerate the process by making available chemical ‘nuclei’ for condensation to take place. The agents used as nuclei are iodides of silver or potassium, dry ice (solid carbon dioxide), or liquid propane.
Earlier Efforts of Karnataka
Karnataka had undertaken a similar exercise through Project Varshadhare in 2017. The project was seen as a successful as the data suggested that rainfall was enhanced by 27.9% and there was an extra inflow of 2.5 tmcft into Linganamakki reservoir. This was a huge success because due to procedural delays and inconsistent monsoon season, the two planes could only fly for 37 days. The results were able to address the scepticism about cloud seeding.
Maharashtra Government has approved Rs. 250 crore Cloud Seeding Programme during 2017 monsoon season to produce sufficient rain.
Under this programme, weather scientists using aircrafts will spray chemicals (silver iodide) over clouds clouds hovering above Solapur district, a rain shadow region of Western Ghats in the state.
- This will be the first controlled experiment to quantify the extent to which clouds form water drops large enough to make rain.
- This programme, coordinated by the Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology, will be the first controlled experiment to quantify the extent to which clouds form water drops large enough to make rain.
- In this experiment, scientists will fly two aircraft and spray silver iodide and dry ice on 100 clouds and compare them with 100 unseeded clouds. Ground radar will be used to track the clouds and verify which ones contributed rain.