The Mexican government has announced that it will be widely implemented seed the clouds (cloud seeding, one of the many geoengineering techniques being used for weather modification) to combat the country’s drought. There cloud seeding given to spray the sky through aerosols of substances that should allow the occurrence of precipitation or the increase of these. The Mexican announcement comes at the end of a phase of application experimentation, which began in 2020, in turn preceding decades of preliminary studies and experiments. The Mexican government has now announced that it is ready to go phase three of the projectit means the realization.
The Mexican government itself has stated that the substances sprayed by aerial aerosols above the clouds are composed of molecules supercooled silver iodide in acetone, which should generate condensation nuclei that can allow rain. In addition, the government points out that this geoengineering technology is developed and manufactured entirely in Mexico and is “environmentally friendly”, as silver iodide molecules and acetone would not cause any environmental impact or water pollution, given its saline and mineral composition they There technology implemented from the end of 2020 and the Mexican government claim an impressive success rate with rainfall occurring 71 times out of 72 flights, and rainfall increased by 40% in the target areas in the first two phases of the government’s cloud seeding project.
But the scientific world is far from unanimous in sharing the executive’s enthusiasm. Fernando García García and Guillermo Montero Martínez, cloud physicists at UNAM (National Autonomous University of Mexico), they pointed out that”there is no concrete evidence it supports the idea that cloud seeding can increase precipitation in a reliable way.” In fact, they argue, certain weather conditions are necessary for the intervention to work, such as the presence of clouds on the site, which in themselves do not allow us to distinguish scientifically. if the rain is caused by the intervention in geoengineering or if they would happen anyway.
After the episode that took place in January of this year in the Bay of California, which involved a US startup intending to experiment with solar geoengineering techniques, Mexico. seemed against him to use cloud seeding. “Mexico reaffirms its unwavering commitment to the protection and well-being of the population against practices that generate risks to human security and the environment,” the government said in a useafter the US startup Making Sunsets kept doing clandestine action and the use of balloons injected with sulfur dioxide particles and launched into the atmosphere. On the occasion, the Mexican government i won stated that the experiment was carried out “without warning and without the consent of the government of Mexico and the surrounding communities”.
The seed in the clouds, the one weather modification techniques (WM – Weather Modification), may involve the use of technology used on the ground (guns) or in the sky (aircraft) and is intended to change meteorological patterns and precipitation in a specific area and in a way that does not last, but is not. general climate patterns. Because of this, many researchers believe that WM should not be considered a form of geoengineering. nonetheless, WM technologies are important precursors of today’s geoengineering technologies such as SRM (Solar Radiation Management) technologies that are more targeted at the interaction with the sun, its light and its radiation: precisely those that Mexico has declared they want to ban just a few months ago. In addition, although its effects are local and do not last long, we do not know what the effects may be global consequences in a massive use of these technologies, even if they are used locally. What is the combined global effect of a wide range of local weather modification actions? And what are the effects of the fallout on the earth in an unknown number of tons of substances sprayed into the atmosphere? For these fundamental questions there are still no solid answers.
[di Michele Manfrin]
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