What is Cloud Seeding? Cloud Seeding is artificially modifying cloud’s ability and intensity to rain. This is done by introducing cloud condensation or ice nuclei which alters the microphysical processes within the clouds. Why is this in the news? Recently Indian Institute of Technology of Kanpur conducted an experiment and were able to successfully conduct and demonstrate cloud seeding. Prof. Manindra Agarwal, Computer Science and Engineering Department headed the project and the experiment was conducted with due approvals from the DGCA. A Cessna aircraft was used for the test and it flew at a height of 5000 feet to conduct the same. The chemical agents take in use were silver iodide, dry ice common salt and a few other elements.
Developing and usage of cloud seeding technology can be really useful for controlling the climate and air pollution to some extent as well. It took IIT Kanpur some six years to develop this technology and its safe to say the time, resources utilized are very well justified taking into consideration the potential of the technology. But it also comes with its own risks. If not used with caution the results can be catastrophic and might even cause huge damage to infrastructure and life. Not to forget the technology is still in its developmental stage and not functional yet so it will still take some time before this becomes functional. India needs to start producing the required parts (like the wing attachment which was imported from USA) and also make proper laws and directions about when and how to bring to use this technology ensuring the safety and best interest of its citizens.