Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Rain Making That Does Not Involve Pac Man Jones

Chinese meteorologists say they can make it rain. Insert your own Pac Man Jones joke here.

As Beijing prepares for the 2008 Olympic Games, meteorologists are saying that, after studying weather data from the past 30 years, they have concluded that there is a 50 percent chance of rain spoiling the Game's opening ceremonies on Aug. 8, 2008 and also two weeks later during the closing ceremonies.

The group held a press conference Wednesday to announce their plans. Here's a quote from the event:

"We are now drafting the implementation plan for the artificial rain mitigation for the opening and closing ceremonies," said Wang Yubin, an engineer with the Beijing Meteorological Bureau. "We will take necessary measures for the possible rain mitigation."

The scientists also said the procedure also could be used to cleanse the air. Beijing is among the worst in Asia for air pollution.

So, how does this rain-making procedure work? The Associated Press tells us...

Technicians with the Beijing Weather Modification Office said last May they had fired seven rocket shells containing 163 cigarette-size sticks of silver iodide over the city's skies, which they claimed forced four-tenths of an inch of rain.

Whether cloud-seeding actually works has been the subject of debate in the scientific community. In 2003, the U.S. National Academy of Sciences questioned the science behind it as "too weak."

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