The News (New Glasgow)
Could cloud seeding be a solution to extinguish wildfires?
We have all watched the wildfire situation closely for the last few days, hoping and praying that rain, which is finally in the forecast, would help crews fight the blazes.
But I have received nearly half a dozen questions about cloud seeding and if the practice would be beneficial to provide the rain we’ve been desperately looking for.
WHAT IS CLOUD SEEDING?
Cloud seeding is a form of weather modification occurring around the world. Substances are used as ice nuclei in rain or snow-producing clouds to increase precipitation falling from clouds.
It’s uses also include attempts to suppress hail and clear fog.
HOW DOES IT WORK?
Silver iodide is often used as the seeding agent for cloud seeding.
Planes fly into the cloud area and disperse the silver iodide, which aids in the formation of ice crystals that become large enough to fall to the ground as rain or snow.
DOES CANADA CLOUD SEED?
Weather modification experiments have been happening in Canada since 1948, according to The Canadian Encyclopedia. Most modernday cloud seeding efforts are linked to scientific studies and experiments.
WHAT ARE THE RISKS?
Experts say the concentration of silver iodide often used for cloud seeding is far below acceptable limits and not harmful. Still, they also have concerns that cloud seeding on a larger scale worldwide could create environmental problems, especially for water resources.
Cloud seeding has also been linked to unsubstantiated claims that governments and other agencies are producing chemical condensation trails, or chemtrails, to negatively impact humans and control the weather to push so-called climate agendas.
As I mentioned, those claims are unsupported.
Could cloud seeding help with wildfires?
If cloud seeding can increase precipitation amounts, it might seem like a nobrainer to use in situations like wildfires to provide rainfall relief, but it’s not that simple.
Cloud seeding is not used to create clouds, so existing rain-producing clouds are necessary near or over wildfires, which hasn’t been the case in Nova Scotia.
As I mentioned, there are some concerns about the environmental impacts of widespread seeding.
Despite some successes, evidence about cloud seeding’s effectiveness is mixed at best.
Could it help with wildfire or drought situations down the line? Possibly. But much more research and experimentation are needed.