Saturday, April 05, 2008

Weather Engineering in China

TechReview have an interesting post on how the Chinese plan to modify the weather in Beijing during the Olympics, using supercomputers and artillery. Now the weather is becoming 'mobile' in the hands of new technology. Is this the beginning of terraforming in the light of dramatic earth changes, one wonders?

To prevent rain over the roofless 91,000-seat Olympic stadium that Beijing natives have nicknamed the Bird's Nest, the city's branch of the national Weather Modification Office--itself a department of the larger China Meteorological Administration--has prepared a three-stage program for the 2008 Olympics this August.

First, Beijing's Weather Modification Office will track the region's weather via satellites, planes, radar, and an IBM p575 supercomputer, purchased from Big Blue last year, that executes 9.8 trillion floating point operations per second. It models an area of 44,000 square kilometers (17,000 square miles) accurately enough to generate hourly forecasts for each kilometer.

Then, using their two aircraft and an array of twenty artillery and rocket-launch sites around Beijing, the city's weather engineers will shoot and spray silver iodide and dry ice into incoming clouds that are still far enough away that their rain can be flushed out before they reach the stadium.


Read full - 'Weather Engineering in China'

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