A controversial weather-controlling program with roots on New Hampshire's Mount Washington continues today, with China allocating $30 million for it this summer.
The technique has had several names over the years, and it began in the 1940s when scientists were able to stimulate cloud growth and force rainfall to come sooner than it would have atop Mount Washington.
The technique continued during the Vietnam War, when the United States reportedly seeded the clouds in an effort to lengthen the monsoon season, thereby making it harder for the enemy to move around.
According to Business Insider, China has been awfully busy seeding its own clouds in recent years.
During the 2008 Beijing Olympics, for example, Chinese scientists were able to seed the clouds — which involves shooting silver iodide particles into clouds. That action causes, at least in theory, the clouds to grow larger, quicker. When they're full enough, rainfall occurs. In doing so, China made it rain ahead of the Opening Ceremony, not during it.
Now, California and other states suffering from droughts are experimenting with the procedure in an effort to increase precipitation.
"Even a 10 percent increase in rainfall or snowfall may be worth the expense," atmospheric science professor Bart Geerts told Business Insider.
"We're becoming more and more aware of the constraints that arid environments have on resources. Water is the biggest constraint in the western U.S. and parts of China."
A Reuters story earlier this month claimed there have been at least 237 deaths due to flooding. The country's goal with cloud seeding and other types of weather modification is to create more than 60 billion cubic meters of rainfall annually by 2020.
Beijing is slated to host the 2022 Winter Olympics.
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