Environment Legal & Politics Science & Physics Society & Culture

China to sky: don’t rain on my parade, OK?

As the officials prepare for the Beijing 2008 olympics in China, their concerns turn to the sky…

The event looks due to coincide with a known wetter period of the year, so the Chinese are contemplating cloud seeding to bring the rain forward of the big event:

“If a storm approaches the city, the Chinese said they would seed the clouds with silver iodide to force rainfall, cleansing the air and ensuring spectators and athletes stay dry.

Weather patterns over Beijing in recent decades indicate a 50 percent chance of rain, Chinese meteorologists say. Air pollution from industry and automobiles also is a problem.”

So there’s a 50% of rain, eh? So that means it either will or it won’t rain? That’s good forecasting!

It’s not like China aren’t familiar with cloud seeding, since they do have somewhat of a history in this regard.

Apparently, they’re currently experimenting with cloud seeding around the Beijing area, but due to the dryness of this part of the year, they’re not having too much success.

When my dad read this out of the newspaper yesterday, our combined observation was: “so why didn’t they plan the event at this time of the year when it’s dry and not later in the year when it’s wet?”

Sometimes, technology isn’t the fix, common sense and sound planning are much greater enablers…

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By Wayne Smallman

Wayne is the man behind the Blah, Blah! Technology website, and the creator of the Under Cloud, a digital research assistant for journalists and academics.

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