Thursday, August 14, 2008

Cloud Seeding: The 2008 Beijing Olympics Connection

Soon after winning the bid to host the 2008 Summer Olympics, Beijing officials began a concerted effort to ensure great weather for the prestigious athletic competition. After studying weather patterns of the past three decades, the engineers at the Beijing Meteorological Bureau determined that there was a 50% chance of rain failing for both the opening and closing Olympic ceremonies. As a result of this forecast, Chinese officials made plans to utilize cloud seeding in order to induce rainfall a few days before the Olympics. [CLICK HERE for a background on the procedure of cloud seeding.] The forced, premature rainfall was supposed to "clean the air, and ensure clear skies" for the historic games.

If the controversial cloud seeding procedure was in fact used with the aforementioned intention, the project was unsuccessful. The opening days of the Olympics in Beijing was plagued with heavy downpours. Some events had to be postponed due to the showery weather.

We will have to stay tuned to see if the closing Olympic ceremonies are drier than the first couple of days of Olympic competition has been.

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