Drought Mitigation Trade-offs

What are the trade-offs for mitigating drought through cloud seeding?

A NOAA C-130 that was involved in cloud-seeding experiments in the 1970s. Photo courtesy of NOAA.

Is cloud seeding a viable solution to drought? Explore the technology of cloud seeding, considering the costs and benefits of this strategy for mitigating drought. The following links can provide a starting point for your research.

  • Watch this brief video about Cloud Seeding

Hands-on Activity

Create clouds in a bottle to demonstrate the role of small particles in cloud formation.

  1. Gather these materials:
    • clear plastic bottle with pop-up cap
    • matches
    • water
  2. Watch a demonstration' new[link https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E8AvfXar9zs '] of the procedure on YouTube. If you can't access streaming video sites, follow the instructions available from WikiHow.

  3. Explore and discuss the similarities and differences between the cloud-in-a-bottle demonstration and cloud seeding.
  4. Skim the article that compares Cloud seeding to Air Pollution (Acrobat (PDF) 243kB Jul10 08)
  5. Read about Cloud Seeding in the Thirsty West (formerly linked to article Stealing rain? )
  6. Read the American Meteorological Society's statement on planned and inadvertent Weather Modification.

Additional Resources

Access and read the article Can Cloud Seeding Help Quench the Thirst of the U.S. West? from Yale Environment 360.