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Cloud wars: Mideast rivalries rise along the new front

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Cloud wars: Mideast rivalries rise along the new front

Recently, a new area of ​​rivalry between the countries of the Middle East over ‘rain’ is emerging in the form of ‘cloud war’.

  • Countries in the Middle East and North Africa have begun a competition to develop chemicals and technology. They hope that with their help they will be able to bring raindrops from the clouds to the ground.
  • Individual substances/chemicals are intentionally introduced into the clouds. After entering, they play the role of condensation molecules and help in precipitation. This process is called ‘cloud seeding’.
  • Cloud seeding materials include salt particles (sodium chloride), silver iodide, dry ice (carbon dioxide), potassium iodide, propane, etc.
  • These components bind to the water vapor particles that form clouds.
  • The combined particles (seeding material and water vapor) are slightly larger and in turn attract more water vapor particles, until they become droplets. In the end they become heavy and fall on the ground in the form of raindrops.

Benefits of Cloud Seeding:

  • Snow can be made in winter,
  • Acts as a supplement to the natural water supply,
  • Improves air quality etc.

Concerns and challenges

  • Silver iodide is toxic to water living organisms.
  • Not all clouds have the ability to rain.
  • Some other concerns: heavy rainfall or snowfall, clouds moving to other areas, etc.

Source – The Hindu

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