The air quality of New Delhi and its surrounding cities in the NCR like Noida, Gurugram have been making headlines for the last few weeks. The AQI in this region was above 400 which is highly dangerous. Weather in these cities was quite cloudy and it was expected that rainfall would improve the air quality and reduce pollution.
While a day ago Delhi and surrounding areas did receive rainfall which brought down the AQI to 100, the government of Delhi is planning to implement cloud seeding with the help of IIT Kanpur to shower artificial rain on the city and bring down the air pollution level around November 20.
What is cloud seeding or artificial rain technology?
Cloud seeding is a technique that is used for weather modification. Through this technology, tiny ice nuclei are introduced into certain types of subfreezing clouds so that the ability of these clouds to produce rain improves. These nuclei introduced in the clouds serve as a base so that the snowflakes are formed.
Once the cloud seeding is done the snowflakes are formed and grow quickly and fall on the Earth’s surface thereby bringing a drop in the temperature as well as improving the air quality.
How is cloud seeding executed?
Cloud seeding mostly is carried out using aircraft or ground-based generators. Most of the cloud seeding operations use a compound silver iodide for the formation of ice crystals. Silver iodide is naturally present in the environment albeit at very low concentrations. It is in no way harmful to humans or animals or cause any damage to the environment.
After six years of effort, #IITKanpur has successfully conducted #cloudseeding to create artificial rain.— The Better India (@thebetterindia) November 9, 2023
Watch how they did it!#ArtificialRain #IIT #Experiment #Sustainable #Pollution #stubbleburning pic.twitter.com/5PTjeuTwzw
When clouds with the potential to shower rain are spotted, silver iodide in a small amount is either released from aircraft or burned using ground-based generators. Once the silver iodide reaches the clouds it starts forming ice and supports the formation of snowflakes resulting in rain or snow shower.