Wednesday, May 29, 2024

Government to consider proposal to carry out cloud seeding in Karnataka

Date:

December 08, 2023: Karnataka is passing through a severe drought with the failure of the south-east monsoon, and the government has declared a drought in 220 out of the 236 taluks in the State

A file photo of Ranebennur MLA Prakash Koliwad launching cloud seeding operation in his constituency, at his own cost, in the presence of Law and Parliamentary Affairs Minister H.K. Patil and Deputy Chairman of Legislative Assembly Rudrappa Lamani, at Hubballi airport on September 5, 2023. | Photo Credit: KIRAN BAKALE

The Karnataka government will consider a proposal to carry out cloud seeding in the State in the wake of forecast of cloudy weather conditions over the next three to four days, Deputy Chief Minister D.K. Shivakumar assured the Legislative Assembly on December 8.

Prakash Koliwad, Congress MLA from Ranebennur in Haveri district, raised the issue during Zero Hour in the Legislative Assembly. Mr Shivakumar, who also holds the water resources portfolio, said he was ‘positive’ about carrying out cloud seeding, but will have to discuss the technical details, including tender procedures, with officials.

Earlier experiments

He acknowledged that previous experiments with cloud seeding in different parts of Karnataka had yielded positive results, and the government is inclined to consider such a proposal again for the benefit of the State’s farmers.

“Though the expenditure on cloud seeding is not much, we will have to follow a suitable process to avoid complaints of nepotism from the opposition,” the Deputy CM said.

Karnataka is passing through a severe drought with the failure of the south-east monsoon. The government had declared a drought in 220 out of the 236 taluks in the State.

MLA offers to do cloud seeding at his own expense

Mr Koliwad said the prediction of cloudy weather was for the next three to four days, and the opportunity to take up cloud seeding will be lost if a decision is not taken at the earliest. 

On hearing the response from the Deputy CM about the decision-making process, the MLA offered to take up cloud seeding at his own cost if the government is facing hurdles in taking a decision. “If the government cannot carry out cloud seeding, please get me the necessary permission from the Chief Secretary. I will carry it out,” the MLA said.

The Ranebennur MLA’s demand was supported by Congress MLA from Navalgund Kona Reddy, who recalled that the State Government had conducted cloud seeding when H.K. Patil served as Minister for Irrigation, and got good results.

RADARS installed at 3 spots across Karnataka to monitor cloud-seeding operations

Jun 1, 2019: As Karnataka reels in the vagaries of monsoon for several years the state government’s cloud-seeding project, Varshadhare, is expected to begin by the end of June. The Radio Detecting and Ranging (RADAR) devices installed in three locations of the state – Bengaluru, Gathak and Shorapur – to gather information about the clouds and the Met department will be forecasting weather conditions regularly.

All rain-stressed areas will be detected through the RADARs and two advanced aircrafts will be used to spray chemicals into the skies to induce rains, said Dr. H.S. Prakash Kumar, Chief Engineer of the Department of Rural Drinking Water and Sanitation which oversees the project.

“We will re-start the project by the end of June this year and it will continue for two years – three months each for both years in monsoon season – 2019 and 2020”, he added.

“A twelve-member technical expert committee has been formed in this regard with Prof. G.S. Bhatt of the Centre for Atmospheric and Oceanic sciences, IISc, as the chairman. The tenders have been floated and we are all-set to begin operations. The total cost of the project for two years amounts to Rs. 93 crores”, said Dr. Chidanand Murthy, Senior Geologist and Member of the expert committee along with Dr. H.S Prakash Kumar and nine other members.

The state cabinet has approved the project on Monday. Karnataka government’s Department of Rural Development and Panchayath Raj is collaborating with various scientific bodies including the Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Bengaluru, Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) and Ministry of Earth Sciences to discuss the operational aspects of the project.

“Normal rain is a rarity now and drought is the new normal in our state. We have a normal rainfall only once in five years. Cloud seeding can’t be a permanent remedy for water scarcity. But to meet contingency situations we need short-term technological solutions”, said Krishna Byre Gowda, Minister of Rural Development and Panchayath Raj, addressing a conference on operational cloud seeding held at Hotel Le Meridian on Thursday.

Download PDF :http://imetsociety.org/wp-content/pdf/vayumandal/2020462/2020462_7.pdf

For Effective Climate Action, Governments Need to Drive Climate Change Mitigation: Bill Gates at Jaipur Lit Fest 2021

Climate change is too big a problem and it cannot be tackled without governments driving the mitigation efforts, Microsoft Co-founder and philanthropist Bill Gates said.

Taking part in a virtual session at the Jaipur Literature Festival, Gates urged people to use their political voice, their purchasing power with a conscience, and to push the companies they work for to do the same.

Gates mentioned Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s name twice for having strongly supported emissions reductions.

He explained that “in terms of future emissions and future suffering, India is paradigmatic. If we don’t help them and get them involved, then this whole thing doesn’t go well”.

The session began with an introduction to Gates’ mission to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from 51 million tons to zero by 2050, and about his book, ‘How to Avoid a Climate Disaster: The Solutions We Have And The Breakthroughs We Need’.

Festival Producer, Sanjoy Roy, described the book as a practical guide “to avoid a climate catastrophe, with the help of experts in the field of physics, chemistry, biology, engineering, political science and finance.”

Speaking about US President Joe Biden and his administration prioritising climate change and enlisting climate activists to help create policies, Gates said political parties need to prioritise the climate change issue. The US return to the 2015 Paris Agreement became official last Friday.

Green groups had said that by reversing former President Donald Trump’s decisions, the US has demonstrated the real leadership and action as demanded by the climate emergency and has shown the world the path it must take to heal the planet.

Applauding and encouraging the youth on their continued efforts, Gates said: “I think we can give the younger generation credit that in this political round, it (climate) was more discussed, by far, than at any time in our history.”

When asked for advice as to how young people can help, he responded: “I am not an expert on advocacy. I have incredible admiration for people like Greta (Thunberg)… We need that attention to intensify and stay very, very high for all thirty years. You know different parties may be in power in different countries and yet, we can’t have them checking out of this cause.”

He admitted that “it’s really the aviation fuel, the steel and the cement industries that if you just take those three, you end up at almost 20 per cent of emissions. Those are the ones that still don’t get enough focus.”

More than once, he cautioned: “If your goal is zero you don’t get to skip anything.”

Highlighting the vital and urgent need for innovation in the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, he said, “It’s very novel for the world to need innovation by a deadline… And yet, now by 2050, if we don’t get to zero, the temperature rise will be so damaging that life will actually get worse for humans and most of the natural ecosystems. So, you have to think, how can you accelerate innovation?”

List of the Disadvantages of Cloud Seeding

1. Specific atmospheric conditions must exist for cloud seeding to work.
Cloud seeding will not work if there are clear skies in the forecast. The correct atmospheric conditions must be present for this technique to work. Clouds that are capable of rain are the only ones that respond well to this effort. When airplanes fly through them, then the seeds they release provide more nuclei that help to form condensation points that can lead to rain or snow. If you were to fly on a clear day to release silver or potassium iodide, then the released chemicals would simply fall to the ground without doing anything.

2. Cloud seeding requires us to use potentially dangerous substances.
Cloud seeding happens when we release specific chemicals or substances into the clouds. The goal is to create seeds that can attract condensation, but this process doesn’t always work. There are times when airplanes can seed clouds and have nothing happen. If we’re releasing solid carbon dioxide or liquid propane into the sky, then these elements could become part of the local environment.

Silver iodide is not currently listed as being harmful to human health in the quantities used for cloud seeding. We also don’t know a lot about this activity, and scientists disagree on its overall effectiveness. These unknowns are a disadvantage that must be taken into consideration.

3. The effectiveness of cloud seeding is still under review.
Cloud seeding is not a 100% guarantee. We can deliver new nuclei into clouds that look like they’ll spawn rain only to receive zero results. The best successes happen when dark clouds receive additional nuclei since there is an expectation that they’ll release precipitation quickly anyway. If you try to add seeds to the typical fluffy white clouds that float along under a blue sky, you’re at a 50/50 chance at best to experience a positive outcome.

Since that means we need to seed clouds that are highly likely to produce rain, some regions of the world may not have many opportunities to use this technology. Some regions receive most precipitation events through thunderstorms, an event that aircraft aren’t always recommended to fly through thanks to the presence of lightning.

4. Cloud seeding is an expensive venture.
When cloud seeding takes place under ideal conditions, then it can increase the levels of precipitation locally by up to 15%. According to Smithsonian Magazine in 2014, the cost of an active program could be as high as $427 per acre-foot. That means the expense of producing additional precipitation would be higher than the economic benefits it provides. Even if we were to take the lowest cost estimates published, it would be somewhere between $27 to $53 per acre-foot to produce additional precipitation.

The results of this study show that cloud seeding won’t solve every problem. It could be a tool that we can use that turns a bad year into an average one.

5. This work could alter weather patterns in other areas.
When clouds receive seeds that encourage more rainfall in a specific area, then that activity could rob other regions of the moisture that they’d typically receive. There are times when this technology helps to regulate the weather locally, but it can also change the patterns of what other people receive hundreds of miles away. If we solve a drought problem in one region, then we might create another one somewhere else. Artificially changing what clouds typically do by themselves requires us to think about the equal and opposite reaction that could happen with the choices we make in this area.

6. The impact of long-term exposure to cloud seeding is unknown.
Most people receive low levels of silver exposure from their drinking water and food. It is present in soil and water deposits all over the world. You can also have it come from anti-bacterial compounds, medicines, and even photographic film. Exposure to high levels of it over time can result in argyria, which changes the coloration of the skin permanently. The EPA does not have an enforceable standard for it in the drinking water, but secondary concentrations of 100 ppb or lower are recommended.

Cloud seeding may not reach the EPA secondary threshold, but these activities will double the silver iodide concentration at ground level. This result can impact plant life and animal habitats in unpredictable ways.

7. The studied benefits of cloud seeding are within the scope of natural variation.
Research into cloud seeding shows that it is most effective during about 30% of the storms that happen during a summer or winter season. That means the 5% to 15% benefits that are possible with this activity are a challenge to evaluate. That places the additional rain or snowfall within the natural variation of a storm. Water districts are willing to take chances on investment here since the work is rather cheap. Any results that become possible will help entire communities have access to more water.

That doesn’t mean it is proven to work. It is a reflection of the hope that it could work, and people are okay with the technology and process if it does not for some reason.

8. Cloud seeding could produce different forms of weather-related damage.
The goal of cloud seeding is to prevent hail and other forms of damaging precipitation in some regions. When we transform ice into water to create more rain or snow, then we are increasing the risk of other adverse events. Flooding is a significant issue that can happen from this work. Dry ground does not readily absorb moisture, which is why flash floods can be a significant problem in deserts. Communities in regions that experience chronic water shortages are often ill-equipped to manage a sudden surge of water availability.

Floods can damage crops just as easily as large hail. Excessive snow can grind economic activities to a halt. There are legitimate concerns that the disadvantage of cloud seeding is that you’re solving one problem by creating another problem that requires management in the future.

Cloud seeding starts as crops suffer growing moisture stress

Ref: https://masvingomirror.com/cloud-seeding-starts-as-crops-suffer-growing-moisture-stress/

Source: TH, Wikipedia, The Weather Channel, Bangalore Mirror, Futureofworking

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