December 17th, 2010 | Xinhua China to intensify weather modification
China will strengthen its abilities to modify weather in the future, a top Chinese meteorologist said in Beijing Thursday, as the country’s meteorologists seek to develop more technologies to triumph over nature.
Zheng Guoguang, director of the China Meteorological Administration (CMA), said such weather modification ambitions are designed to help reduce natural disasters and promote the development of modern agriculture.
At an exchange meeting on the central budget for weather modification, Zheng said weather modification should be an important foundation to push forward the country’s agriculture and rural development.
“By the mid 21st century, China will be a country short of water, with a per capita water source of 1,700 cubic meters,” Zheng said, “thus we need to control the weather.”
Apart from its role in reducing natural disasters, weather modification will be used to explore airborne water resources, improve the ecological environment, and help secure industrial and urban water utilization, according to the CMA.
Since 2009, the Chinese Ministry of Finance has arranged special budgets for the CMA’s weather modification.
In the first ten months of this year, China spent 762 million yuan (114 million U.S. dollars) for weather modification work, up 19 percent year on year.
China resorted to weather modification to prevent the usually unpredictable weather from disrupting major events, such as the 2008 Summer Olympics.
Weather modification usually refers to cloud-seeding practices that involve shooting various substances into clouds, such as silver iodide, salts and dry ice, to bring on the formation of larger raindrops and trigger downpours, as well as clear haze and clouds.