What is cloud seeding?
Cloud seeding is a process that involves spreading chemicals like dry ice (solid carbon dioxide) or silver iodide in the clouds with the help of planes and drones.
It forces the clouds to precipitate, forming ice drops which then defrost and become water droplets as they fall.
As this process uses clouds that are potentially ready for rain, it remains unclear whether it rained because of seeding or natural causes.
Water-scarce countries like Australia and the UAE have claimed success with cloud seeding.
UAE was one of the first countries in the Gulf region to use this technology, with a total investment in rainmaking projects of nearly $15 million.
Meteorologists claim that the planes sent up into the rain-bearing clouds to disperse the salt flares do not leave too much of a carbon footprint.
However, experts believe that cloud seeding could lead to silver toxicity and other environmental concerns if done on a large scale.
In addition, it might disturb the earth’s natural moisture balance. Increased exposure to this chemical can also lead to injuries in humans and other mammals.
But cloud seeding is expensive, and many variables are attached to its success.
In fact, scientists have only reported a 10% to 30% increase in annual rainfall by cloud seeding.