Cloud Seeding (Artificial Induction of Rain) – An Interesting Phenomena

Are you curious about how we can artificially induce rainfall??? How can we bring rain to an area where it usually doesn’t rains or an area which experiences less rainfall??? Well, read this article and find out. I hope you’ll find it interesting and informative.

Before going towards cloud seeding you need to know that how rain is formed. I’ll explain it in as easy words as possible.

  1. First of all, air currents enter water vapors into the atmosphere.
  2. Then, these water vapors condense onto small particles that are known cloud condensation nuclei (CCN). These particles are less than a micron (10^-6) in diameter. The condensation takes place just like water vapors condense on a sauce pan’s lid when water is boiled in it. In the same way, water vapors condense when they collide with CCN.RTEmagicC_Clouds_2_CCN.jpeg

 Now, this is the step at which cloud seeding kicks in.

  1. After this step the raindrop is formed and it starts to grow in the size.collision
  2. When the droplet gains enough weight to exert force downwards and to cancel the upward thrusting force (More weight will overcome the upthrusting force), the raindrop falls to the ground. Upthrust

Now that you know the whole process, you can easily understand how we can artificially induce rain.

Sometimes it doesn’t rains in an area just because there are no CCN particles for the water vapors to condense. Or it rains less in an area because of less CCN particles in the atmosphere.

What we do in cloud seeding is that we artificially introduce CCN in the atmosphere. Once CCN particles are introduced, the water vapors begin to condense on them and the water droplet forms. After growing to its size, the rain drops fall to the ground as rain. CCN particles can be silver iodide particles, potassium chloride particles, etc. This picture perfectly represents the process of cloud seeding.

This is the perfect representation of cloud seeding

This is the perfect representation of cloud seeding

And yes even atmospheric pollutants, such as aerosols, can act as CCN. But if there are more aerosols than a certain threshold limit then they will stop clouds from raining and the cloud will continue to grow until it reaches a certain temperature, at which rainfall occurs. Now, this can affect badly, because at first there will be drought and afterwards there will be a very heavy rainfall (as the overly grown and high energy containing cloud will rain), which may result in flood. If you want to know more about this effect click here.

The lower one shows how aerosols can delay rainfall

The lower one shows how aerosols can delay rainfall

Is cloud seeding a new terminology for you? Or, did you know it before? Even if you know more information about this topic, do tell me.

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Hey, What is Water Footprinting????

Water footpriting?? You may not know what water footprinting is. It is a relatively new terminology. Water footprint measures the amount of water used to produce each of the goods and services we use. According to waterfootprint.org,

The water footprint is a measure of humanity’s appropriation of fresh water in volumes of water consumed and/or polluted.

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The water footprint looks at both direct and indirect water use of a process, product, company or sector and includes water consumption and pollution throughout the full production cycle from the supply chain to the end-user. For example, water footprint of dairy products can be calculated. This water footprint would also include the water that the cow or any other animal uses, the water footprint of the food that it eats, etc.

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Water footprints are of three type:

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Green water footprint is water from precipitation that is stored in the root zone of soil and evaporated, transpired or incorporated by plants. It is particularly relevant for agricultural, horticultural and forestry products.

Blue water footprint is water that has been sourced from surface or groundwater resources and is either evaporated, incorporated into a product or taken from one body of water and returned to another, or returned at a different time. Irrigated agriculture, industry and domestic water use can each have a blue water footprint.

Grey water footprint is the amount of fresh water required to assimilate pollutants.The grey water footprint considers point-sources of pollution, or other diffuse sources.

We consume alot of products and services daily. For example, we use water, eat rice, cereals, we buy new clothes, etc. These all products have their own water footprint. So,it is our duty to recognize and leave such products that have large water footprint. For example, coffee and meat have very high water footprints. So, we should avoid coffee and meat when we can.

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Following is contribution of various products and services to the global water footprint.

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You can calculate your water footprints can be calculated through this interactive quiz.

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You can also check you nations water footprint, water availability, etc., through this interactive explorer.

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Other than water footprints, there are many other types of footprints. Major footprints are,

  1. Ecological Footprint: Measures the use of bio-productive space.
  2. Carbon Footprint: Measures the emission of gases that contribute to global warming.
  3. Water Footprint: Measures the consumption and contamination of freshwater resources.
  4. Nitrogen Footprint: Measures the amount of nitrogen released into the environment in relation to consumption.

     If you like this post or want more information about this (although I am not any expert but I worked on this as a project), please do comment.