Since 2013 China has been creating 55 billion tons of artificial rain a year.
The country is now embarking on its biggest rainmaking project ever. Chinese authorities intend to force rainfall and snow over 1.6 million sq km, an area roughly twice the size of Nigeria.
The government will use new military weather-altering technology developed by the state-owned China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation.
The country plans to build tens of thousands of combustion chambers on Tibetan mountainsides. The chambers will burn a solid fuel, which will result in a spray of silver iodide billowing towards the sky.
“Sometimes snow would start falling almost immediately after we ignited the chamber. It was like standing on the stage of a magic show,” a researcher told the Morning Post.
The Tibetan plateau is vital to the water supply for much of China and a large area of Asia. Its glaciers and reservoirs feed the Yellow, Yangtze, Mekong, and other major rivers that flow through China, India, Nepal, and other countries.
Sprayed from planes, the particles will provide something for passing water vapor to condense around, forming clouds. Those clouds will bring the rain.
Traditionally, the rainmaking process or “cloud-seeding” means rocket-launching chemicals into clouds which accelerate the creation of ice crystals that eventually become rain. .
The practice of weather modification has become more frequent across the country in recent years, including for major public events. .
In 2008, China launched over 1,100 rockets containing silver iodide into Beijing’s skies before the Olympics opening ceremony to disperse clouds and keep the Olympics rain-free.