Thursday, May 22, 2008

The rainmakers

There's an interesting article about China in the National Geographic magazine. Here's an extract:
"The glaciers and vast underground springs of the Qinghai-Tibet plateau supply 50% of the Yellow River's volume. But a hotter, drier climate is sending the delicate ecosystem into shock...Already more than 3000 of the 4077 lakes in Qinghai Province's Madoi County have disappeared...The glaciers are shrinking at a rate of 7% a year.
To save its great rivers, Beijing is performing a sort of technological rain dance, with the most ambitious cloud seeding programme in the world. During summer months, artillery and planes bombard the clouds above the Yellow River's source area with silver iodide crystals, around which moisture can collect and become heavy enough to fall as rain. In Madoi, where the thunderous explosions keep families awake at night, the meteorologists staffing the weather station say the "big gun" project is increasing rainfall and helping replenish glaciers near the Yellow River's source. Local Tibetans, however, believe the rockets, by angering the gods once more, are perpetuating the drought."


Blogger kinglear said...

Don't think it's a good idea to anger the gods - but on the other hand, it will be interesting to see if it works.

8:26 am  
Blogger Welshcakes Limoncello said...

One wonders whether local superstiton may know a thing or two.

11:56 pm  

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