List of Pros and Cons of Cloud Seeding
Cloud seeding is a new technology that has been developed in order to combat the ongoing water shortage in many places around the world. A chemical with a crystalline structure, such as silver iodine, is released into the air to attract water particles. These particles form a cloud and then become dense enough to form raindrops. This topic is currently the source of many debates as people argue the pros and cons of cloud seeding.
List of Pros of Cloud Seeding
1. More Rain
There are many areas of the world that are in desperate need of more water. This could be a viable solution to that problem. The silver iodine changes atmospheric conditions so that regions that almost never see rain could create their own precipitation. This means that some places could grow more crops or grow types of crops that they have never been able to produce before. So in addition to combating drought conditions, cloud seeding could also stop or prevent famine.
2. Economic Boost
If farmers can grow and sell more crops, the overall economy of an area will be greatly improved. But another industry that may benefit from cloud seeding is tourism. Dry, arid places are generally considered inhospitable and undesirable as vacation spots. Tourism booms can bring a massive flood of outside currency into an economy which then circulates among the locals and improves living conditions for everyone in the area.
List of Cons of Cloud Seeding
1. Long Term Effects
The gravest concern regarding cloud seeding is the long term effects. Nobody knows what the result of releasing these crystalline chemicals into the air will be in five years, or ten, or fifty. No severe side effects of exposure to silver iodine are known at this time, however ongoing tests are needed to determine if long term exposure may have consequences. Other people are concerned about how directly interfering with the weather patterns of a specific region may affect weather conditions all around the globe.
2. Undesirable Precipitation
Once the silver iodine is released into the air, we have no control over what weather forms. It is possible that too much rain forms and flooding becomes a problem. This is especially difficult in areas that have a chronic water shortage, as they have no system in place to deal with the damage caused by floods. The formation of hail is another risk of cloud seeding. Hail can cause a great deal of property damage in a short period of time in urban areas. In rural areas, it can flatten crops and cause devastating food shortages. Some people fear that instead of solving the problems of water shortage, cloud seeding will only make them worse.