Beijing Weather Modification Office

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Beijing Weather Modification Office
Traditional Chinese 北京市人工影響天氣辦公室
Simplified Chinese 北京市人工影响天气办公室

The Beijing Weather Modification Office is a unit of the Beijing Meteorological Bureau tasked with weather control in Beijing and its surrounding areas, including parts of Hebei and Inner Mongolia.[1][2][3] The Beijing Weather Modification Office form a part of China's nationwide weather control effort, believed to be the world's largest; it employs 37,000 people nationwide, who seed clouds by firing rockets and shells loaded with silver iodide into them.[4] According to Zhang Qiang, head of the Office, cloud seeding increased precipitation in Beijing by about one-eighth in 2004; nationwide, similar efforts added 7.4 trillion cubic feet (210 km3) of rain between 1995 and 2003.[5]

The work of the Office is largely aimed at hailstorm prevention or making rain to end droughts; they have also induced precipitation for purposes of firefighting or counteracting the effect of severe dust storms, as they did in the aftermath of one storm in April 2006 which dropped 300,000 tonnes of dust and sand on the city and was believed to have been the largest in five years.[2][6] Their technology was also used to create snow on New Year's Day in 1997.[7] Other proposed future uses for induced precipitation include lowering temperatures in summer, in hopes of reducing electricity consumption.[5] More prominently, they were enlisted by the Chinese government to ensure that the 2008 Summer Olympics are free of rain, by breaking up clouds headed towards the capital and forcing them to drop rain on outlying areas instead.[4] The office created a snowstorm in November 2009.[8][9]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Weather modification". Beijing Meteorological Bureau. Archived from the original on 2007-10-13. Retrieved 2007-11-15. 
  2. ^ a b "北京市气象台今年首发雷雨大风蓝色预警 (Beijing Meteorological Bureau issues blue thunderstorm warning for first time this year)". People's Daily (in Chinese). 2006-06-26. Retrieved 2007-11-15. 
  3. ^ Chen, Jieqiong (2007-08-15). "08奥运天气控制系统大揭秘 控制天气全凭高科技 (08 Olympics weather control system unveiled; controls the weather with advanced technology)". China Radio International. Retrieved 2007-11-15. 
  4. ^ a b MacLeod, Calum (2006-06-29). "China rolls out the big guns, aiming for a dry Olympics". USA Today. Retrieved 2007-11-15. 
  5. ^ a b Ruwitch, John (2004-07-27). "China Seeders Train Sights on Soggy Skies". Reuters. Archived from the original on 24 December 2007. Retrieved 2007-11-19. 
  6. ^ "China says it made rain to wash off sand". MSNBC News. 2006-05-06. Archived from the original on 23 November 2007. Retrieved 2007-11-15. 
  7. ^ "Need More Snow? Beijing Weather Wizards Deliver". The Deseret News. 1997-01-16. Retrieved 2007-11-19. 
  8. ^ "Scientists 'cause' Beijing snow". BBC News. 2009-11-02. 
  9. ^ Canaves, Sky (2009-11-02). "Beijing Snow, Man Made in China". Wall Street Journal (blog).