China to expand the size of its test area to 5.5 million square miles by 2025
The ruling Chinese Communist Party is massively expanding its controversial weather modification program to cover an area the size of India.
Several countries have used weather modification programs for decades.
However, China has long been one of the most frequent users of the technology.
Now, the communist nation wants to expand the size of its test area to 5.5 million square miles by 2025.
The goal is a massive increase and will cover an area that is larger than India.
China released a statement explaining the expansion, CNN reported.
According to CNN, the expansion is due to “breakthroughs in fundamental research and key technologies, as well as improvements in ‘comprehensive prevention against safety risks.’”
“In the next five years, the total area covered by artificial rain or snowfall will reach 5.5 million sq km, while over 580,000 sq km (224,000 sq miles) will be covered by hail suppression technologies.
“The statement added that the program will help with disaster relief, agricultural production, emergency responses to forest and grassland fires, and dealing with unusually high temperatures or droughts,” CNN reported.
“China has long sought to control the weather to protect farming areas and to ensure clear skies for key events — it seeded clouds ahead of the 2008 Beijing Olympics to reduce smog and avoid rain ahead of the competition.
“Key political meetings held in the Chinese capital are notorious for enjoying beautiful clear skies, thanks both to weather modification and the shutting down of nearby factories.”
Technology news website Futurism reported on the dangers of China’s weather modification expansion, explaining that China and India frequently clash over border disputes.
A 2017 paper from National Taiwan University researchers warned: “Lack of proper coordination of weather modification activity (could) lead to charges of ‘rain stealing’ between neighboring regions.”
“The scientific evidence and political justification for weather modification is not subject to debate or broad discussion (in China),” the study’s authors wrote.
“In addition, the leadership’s propensity for technological intervention in taming different weather systems is rarely challenged by alternative viewpoints.”
As Futurism cautioned, China’s expansion could mean “that other countries may be subject to its meteorological whims — seeding international conflict in addition to clouds.”
As CNN reported, China has invested heavily in cloud seeding technology – to the tune of $1.34 billion between 2012 and 2017.
China’s state-controlled media outlet, Xinhua, claimed the country’s weather modification program significantly reduced hail damage in China Xinjiang province, which is home to numerous concentration camps described as “educational facilities.”
China has used its program to reduce smog and the chances of rain ahead of the 2008 Beijing Olympics, while the program also helps keep the skies clear during political events.
As CNN reported, cloud seeding “works by injecting small amounts of silver iodide into clouds with a lot of moisture, which then condenses around the new particles, becoming heavier and eventually falling as precipitation.”