Perhaps cloud seeding really works: "Very unusual heavy rain" causes major flooding in the UAE (video)

Originally published at: Perhaps cloud seeding really works: "Very unusual heavy rain" causes major flooding in the UAE (video) | Boing Boing

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Desalination won’t flood whole towns, even if it is a bit harder…


Hey guys with big rig, thanks for causing a wake and breaking my shop windows. Another thing to add to the insurance claim. :hugs:


San Diego, California tried that in 1915; hired a rainmaker named Hatfield, who may or may not have caused the calamitous floods that resulted.


Indeed, those poor people.

If only there was some scientific theory that might explain the freak weather conditions that we are encountering in recent years.


Or a bible verse, because we all know scientists are simply not to be trusted.


What? How?!

ETA: Oh, right, bathing. I was thinking about the other meaning of consume.

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I think that there is no question that to some extent cloud seeding works. The results, however, are variable and unpredictable. Rain that does occur seems to be generally greater but it doesn’t always fall where expected. That said, it is unreasonable to blame every occurrence of “unusually heavy rain” on cloud seeding.


Is it just me, or is the guy driving down the street leaving a big wake causing even MORE damage? A lot of those storefronts looked like they were resisting the water until this dude came through and broke all their windows and doors in.

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That’s a ridiculous amount of water… like nearly 150 gallons per person per day. Here in San Francisco, we use, on average, 42 gallons / person / day.

It would be surprising if cloud seeing had absolutely no effect whatsoever. it would be even more surprising (though possible) if it had the reverse effect and inhibited rain. I knew of Hatfield’s extraordinary downpour. I think there was another experiment in South Africa, where they were seeding with something other than silver iodide. Then there is this event which may have coincided with cloud seeding (doesn’t anyone know?).

For me, cloud seeing fails in the same way that UFO’s fail. We had a few blurry photographs of flying saucers on film. Many of us now have phones with digital, autofocus cameras. A good shot of a UFO is worth a lot. And yet the number of pictures and their quality does not change. There were some experiments with cloud seeding in the early days. We now have radar and satellite mapping, and weather drones that can give a fine-grained measurements of a storm. We can measure water tables and aquifers and put a better value on the worth of a particular shower of rain. And yet the results are still anecdotal, and just too vague to show correlation.

Compare this with global warming. More data makes the argument for global warming more convincing every day.


Well, the CO2 emissions from fossil fuelled desalination eventually will…

Fuel without fossil fuel then haha

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It’s been well established he did nothing of value. Hatfield was a con artist and cloud seeding has no evidence of efficacy. It persists as an idea because there’s a tiny kernel of scientific plausibility to it (pardon the pun) but there is no quality evidence that it has ever worked.

At best all it could ever do is trigger clouds that were gonna rain anyway.


This is a great analogy. As you say, if it worked, the evidence should be getting better as technology has gotten better. But it hasn’t. We still have the same blurry blobs and vague cherry-picked correlations of rain happening a non-specific amount of time after seeding. Continuing your analogy, the idea also persists because the basis of the idea is not crazy. We know how rain forms so it sounds reasonable this might work. We also know (mathematically at least) that alien life exists, so there’s a plausibility factor that they could be visiting (aside from breaking all laws of physics to get here of course).


Fantastic video…have the album but never seen the video before, thank you.

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If that figure includes the water the UAE requires to grow food then it’s actually pretty reasonable.


Object to the Neighborhood Improvement Assurance Boat as one may, the UAE has these all-electromagnetic seeding drones, so that’s pretty neat. They might even have data that’s good to share on results one day (if not cities the size of Massachusetts a hundredstory, mirror-finished and good for animal migration and biodiversity as a whole.)