06 January 2011

Weather-Making: Thunderstorms In Place of Desalinators

The Metro System scientists used ionisers to produce negatively charged particles ....

They have a natural tendency to attach to tiny specks of dust which are ever-present in the atmosphere in the desert-regions.

These are then carried up from the emitters by convection - upward currents of air generated by the heat release from sunlight as it hits the ground.

Once the dust particles reach the right height for cloud formation, the charges will attract water molecules floating in the air which then start to condense around them.

If there is sufficient moisture in the air, it induces billions of droplets to form which finally means cloud and rain. _DailyMail

Scientists from the Max Planck Institute for Meteorology have been fiddling with Abu Dhabi's weather. Using the negative-ion generators pictured above, the scientists have been successful in creating rainfal and thunderstorms in the Arabian summer months of July and August -- when rain rarely falls naturally.
Last June Metro Systems built five ionising sites each with 20 emitters which can send trillions of cloud-forming ions into the atmosphere.

Over four summer months the emitters were switched on when the required atmospheric level of humidity reached 30 per cent or more.

While the country's weather experts predicted no clouds or rain in the Al Ain region, rain fell on FIFTY-TWO occasions.

The project was monitored by the Max Planck Institute for Meteorology, one of the world's major centres for atmospheric physics.

Professor Hartmut Grassl, a former institute director, said: There are many applications. One is getting water into a dry area.

'Maybe this is a most important point for mankind.'

...Building an ionising system is about £7 million while a desalination plant would be £850 million and costs a lot more to run.

Some scientists are treating the results in Al Ain with caution because Abu Dhabi is a coastal state and can experience natural summer rainfall triggered by air picking up moisture from the warm ocean before dropping it on land.

But the number of times it rained in the region so soon after the ionisers were switched on has encouraged researchers.

Professor Peter Wilderer witnessed the experiments first hand and is backing the breakthrough. _DailyMail
Local and regional control of weather and climate has long been a goal of visionaries and utopians. An entire arsenal of weather devices will be needed, for dealing with the extremes of any season. In this case, the ability to trigger rainfall can substitute for more expensive desalination plants -- for freshwater. In other situations, seasonal weather might be modified to create ideal growing seasons for highly valued crops.

In this modern age of global warming cooling climate change, it's best to be prepared for anything.

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Blogger Cheryl Pass said...

Why does this article scare me? Those who can turn it on, can also turn it off. Plus, I have some serious regard for nature. Messing around with it seems really risky.

Just thinking aloud here..
Thanks for all of the interesting articles you post here!!

Friday, 07 January, 2011  
Blogger Loren said...

What you need now is a giant boiler upwind so you can make the moisture needed to do this without disrupting the moisture flow to other regions.

Friday, 07 January, 2011  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Once an area develops vegetation it starts recycling moisture in the area by transpiration and producing aerosols from fungal spores, pollen... even pheromones from ants have been claimed to increase rain in forests by promoting condensation. Using wide-scale meteorology and well spaced ionizers you could exert more subtle control over the process. You might be able to get the ions into the air in advance of rising upper-level humidity rather than waiting until it is upon you. So the clouds would form as soon as the moist air arrived rather than sometime after the machines kick in.

Not to say that their would not be political squabbles over this but since most of the nations who would benefit most from this are large enough to be able to have their own network of ionizers. And as long as it is done in combination with other desertification measures to keep the water from running straight out to the sea or down into the deep ground it would not be taking moisture from down wind but borrowing it until it went back up via transpiration.

I think this deserves some further investigation. Also, passive solar heating of the air surrounding the charged particles produced might help get them up higher and sooner. That solar tower concept they were developing for heating air at ground level to drive wind turbines up the tower might be useful even without the power generation aspect. Pump your ions into the greenhouse-like structure below and let the rising hot air bring them up the tower without needing to work their way through the first few (Few dozen? Few hundred?) stories worth of atmosphere.

Friday, 07 January, 2011  

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