BEIJING, China: A day before the Chinese Communist Party’s centenary celebration in Tiananmen Square on July 1, scientists from Tsinghua University reportedly suggested that China use cloud-seeding to clear pollution from Beijing’s skies.
Cloud seeding is a weather modification technology that increases rainfall by dispersing chemicals into the air, which make water droplets cluster.
The research, published in peer-reviewed Chinese journal Environmental Science on November 26, noted that the celebration was expected to face an overcast sky and a significant rise in air pollutants.
On June 30, during a two-hour cloud seeding operation in Beijing and surrounding areas, China’s weather authorities launched rockets carrying silver iodine into the sky. The artificial rain turned the air quality from “moderate” to “good” under WHO standards, by decreasing the level of the air pollutant PM2.5 by over 66 percent.
Since the launch of its weather modification program last year, China has built advanced weather modification networks – considered to be some of the largest in the world – in western Chinese regions, including Tibet and Xinjiang. China is also working toward expanding its artificial rain and snow program, and reaching an advanced weather modification level by 2035.
The government said the program is focusing on “revitalizing rural regions, restoring ecosystems and minimizing losses from natural disasters.”