Engineering Earth

pp 2173-2184


A Perspective on Weather Modification: Planned and Inadvertent

  • Nancy WestcottAffiliated withIllinois State Water Survey, Institute of Natural Resource Stability, University of Illinois Email author 

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Weather modification has traditionally had two components: planned, referring to cloud seeding to increase rain or snow, decrease hail, reduce the destructiveness of hurricanes or dissipate fog, and inadvertent referring to the impact of large urban cities on the local weather (winds, precipitation, lightning, and aerosol concentrations). This chapter briefly examines 60 years of weather modification practices, research, results, and lessons that may be relevant to decisions regarding climate modification. For climate, one must consider whether issues related to scientific credibility, technological and logistical limitations, proof of concept requirements, effects of unexpected consequences, and funding cycles can be sufficiently resolved to provide both beneficial and verifiable results.