‘Cloud seeding increase rainfall by 25%’

February 4, 2019

TEHRAN – Cloud seeding has resulted in a 25-percent increase in precipitation rates over the country, Farid Golkar, head of the National Cloud Seeding Research Center has announced.

This is while Iran's Meteorological Organization (IMO) director, Davood Parhizkar, stated on January 24 that cloud seeding is not a solution to the country’s recurrent drought, not compensating for the water scarcity. 

Cloud seeding, a form of weather modification, is a method to change the amount or even type of precipitation. Rainfall occurs when super cooled droplets of water – those that are still liquid but are at a temperature below the usual freezing point of zero centigrade – form ice crystals. Now too heavy to remain suspend in the air, these then fall, often melting on their way down to form rain.

Despite of low costs paid to implement the projects, the country has received above normal rainfall this year as a result of cloud seeding, Golkar stated, ISNA reported on Sunday.

Even If cloud seeding operations led to one percent increase in rainfall, so that would not be futile or pointless, he said, adding, the country met a 25 percent rise in precipitation rates due to cloud seeding operations.

Pointing out that numerous studies claim that cloud seeding can increase rainfall, he added that many countries are reportedly undertaking cloud seeding efforts worldwide.

He went on to say that cloud seeding is a relatively cheap method to bulk up the water supply and increase rainfall amounts, but there are costs to every success.

“We need to constantly carry out cloud seeding operations as a way to manage water resources,” he stated, highlighting, Iran has the potential to domestically conduct the operations; while the neighboring countries need advanced countries’ support.

Due to lack of funds along some shortcomings, the cloud seeding plan will be performed by the next two weeks, while must have been performed earlier in November 2018, Golkar said.

He went on to add that the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Aerospace Force will carry out the plan using an aircraft, in case of success two other plane will add to the project.

Initially, the operations will be performed in the provinces of Markazi, Chaharmahal and Bakhtiari, Kohgiluyeh and Boyer-Ahmad, Kermanshah and South Khorasan, he noted.

Parhizkar being the outspoken opponent of the project for long, said that cloud seeding does not significantly add to the average annual rainfall, thus only forms expectations among the residents to ask about the ineffectiveness of the method.

So, it makes more sense to use proper water management methods and promote water consumption patterns, he added.

He went on to explain that the country's average annual rainfall is less than one-third the world average, and even if the rainfall increases in the country, it still faces water shortages and water resources needs to be managed.

Over the past 50 years, the average annual precipitation in the country has been reduced by more than 50 millimeters and the temperature has risen by more than two degrees Celsius, he noted.

If cloud seeding is done without appropriate researches and equipment, not only does the precipitation not increase, but the cloud will become sterile and do not rain at all, he concluded.

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