China ‘Tweaked’ The Weather To Ensure Clear Skies, Low Air Pollution For Political Event, Says Study; Check Details

New Delhi: India’s capital might be battling severe air pollution but, according to a Beijing university study, Chinese weather authorities succeeded in ensuring clear skies and low air pollution levels ahead of a major political celebration earlier this year.

A research paper from Tsinghua University has said an extensive cloud-seeding operation ensured clear skies and low air pollution levels at Tiananmen Square on July 1, when the Chinese Communist party marked its centenary with major celebrations, The Guardian reported.

The study was published in the peer-reviewed Environmental Science journal and led by environmental science professor Wang Can.

Residents in nearby mountain regions reported seeing rockets fired into the sky on June 30. The paper said the rockets were carrying silver iodine into the sky to stimulate rainfall.

The researchers said the resulting artificial rain reduced the level of PM 2.5 by more than two-thirds, and improved the air quality index from “moderate” to “good”.

The Chinese government has spent billions of dollars on efforts to manipulate the weather, despite questions over its overall effectiveness, and debate about whether manipulating the weather in one area could disrupt weather systems elsewhere, The Guardian reported.

In the five years to 2017 state media claimed China had spent more than $1.3 billion on the technology and induced about 233.5 billion cubic metres of additional rain.

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