Friday, May 05, 2006

China uses artificial rain to wash off dust

China has been plagued with huge dust storms directly connected with global warming.

Some of these have even had effects as far as Japan. The worst storm this April dumped 336,000 tons of sand on Beijing. South Korea was blanketed by the same storm as is still covered with yellow dust. Studies in Mongolia have shown that dust storms reduce lung capacity.

Tourists at Komolo glacier in Tibet
Tourists at the Komolo Glacier in Tibet, where global warming is reducing glaciers by 7 percent annually causing drought and expanding deserts. AFP photo from Yahoo News

Glacier-melting caused by global warming is the culprit in increasing desertification of grasslands. This in turn leads to the "yellow dust" storms that are becoming increasingly common.

The Beijing Weather Modification Office said that it will conduct a cloud-seeding operation to help wash away the dust from the last storm.

"A total of 163 pieces of cigarette-like sticks containing silver iodide were burned and seven rocket shells were launched in six districts and counties, which resulted in the heaviest rainfall in Beijing this spring," the official Xinhua news agency said.

No comments: