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The weather modification hoax.



21/4/1876 NZ Herald
"Explosive Way To Get Rain
Some amusement was caused by the attempt made in Auckland a year or two ago
to bring down rain by firing a gun at Fort Britomart, and we observe the
same idea is now proposed in Sydney.."


28/6/1968 Auckland Star
"Warning of Wars Fought By Weather..
Global wars fought with hurricanes, mile-high icebergs, rain and electricity
could happen within 10 to 20 years, a top U.S. scientists said yesterday.
One technique could reduce whole populations to imbecility by channeling
electric current from an area below the stratosphere, he said. Another but
equally possible was the melting of the South Pole ice caps, causing tidal
wave destruction of every coastal area in the world. Later, Dr McDonald said
he felt every scientist should warn political leaders of these threats to
world survival.."

19/5/1977 NZ Herald
"Weather Not Weapon, States Agree..
The United States, the Soviet Union and 26 more nations will today pledge
never to attack one another by starting man-made storms, earthquakes or
tidal waves. Foreign ministers or special envoys from the 28 countries will
sign a United Nations agreement banning the use of weather as a weapon. And
meeting for the first time since last year, the Soviet Foreign Minister, Mr
Gromyko and the United States Secretary of State, Mr Vance, will also
discuss how peace can best be brought to the Middle East."


Weather systems cover the whole planet. Those swirling gigantic weather patterns are big enough to be seen easily by someone standing on the moon. The tiny human population of earth is so small that almost every other species on earth outnumber us. We live on tiny, very sparse and widely separated strips of coastal land. You only have to get in a plane and fly to another shore to see how vast are the tracts of land with no houses anywhere in sight. Roughly one tenth of the earth’s land surface is used to produce crops. Two tenths is grassland of varying degrees of productivity. Another two tenths is forest. The remaining half of all the land is either desert, mountains, or covered with ice.



In fact all the metropolitan areas bunched together wouldn’t make the size of Spain and everyone on Earth could stand on Bali. Can those tiny nests of human activity affect the weather of the whole planet?


It is an interesting question, and as the above clippings show, scientists from time to time have entertained the idea. It is easy to run away with our own sense of scientific importance and assume we can achieve and change more than we actually can. Much of the change in climate is generated by changes in the earth's tilt, the elliptical orbits of Sun and Moon, changes in solar radiation and polar shift. The rhythms of change are orbitally-related and oscillate about a climatic mean that is constantly drifting in response to gradual changes in Earth’s major boundary conditions. These include continental geography, topography and plate tectonics, and these do tend to change gradually on million-year time scales, but not in the time scales that we are part of.


The hottest year in recent times was 1998, when the average temperature from the 3000 or so weather stations monitored was up 0.99 degrees, but the years after 1998 have been cooler. Temperature readings are collected in cities and at airports, both which in the last 6 years have nearly all risen in temperatures due to construction expansion programmes, increased populations, and more fuel emissions in air and on ground. Of course they will have recorded hotter temperatures. But out in the countryside where less live, no such rapid rise has been recorded.


To believe in rapid and runaway climate change is to deny the possibility of cycles, replacing it with unidirectionalism. Such a concept is both random and therefore unknown. But the logic is flawed. If unknown then how can we be certain it actually is non-cyclic and indeed occurring? You don't need science to take part in that, only emotion. The notion of weather modification by human means can only come from a belief that weather is not cyclic, the idea being that the weather is entirely of control and no one is in charge. With cycles there is the notion of order and pattern. We can’t alter day and night, summer and winter, sunrise and sunset.

When I entered the field of forecasting I was looking for an explanation of why weather events might happen. By that I was not discounting the possibility of other forecasting systems. Systems were my focus. Reading about the lives of longrange forecasters like Kepler, Benjamin Franklin, Sir Isaac Newton and Lamarck, one finds they were primarily using planetary science. In those days if you wanted your stars read you went to an astronomer. These worthy forebears in science had no scary stories to tell about climate change. They were looking to describe cycles.


I happen to believe that there can be no violent events happening to our universe, other than what has happened before not once but several times. Unfortunately that message doesn't always sell newspapers. By definition, extreme weather is not normal, but we can have no idea of normal. Are we in a colder phase now or a hotter one, than say a million years ago?  And I can’t help thinking that the global warming debate is one between religions. Today they burn witches in the media, a witch being anyone who employs an unorthodox science. Demonising and spreading horror and fear creates opportunities for professional warners and exorcists who have the franchise to do the "driving out". Have alarmist climatologists assumed the new priestly robes?

The causes of weather are simple enough to understand. For a big rain event to occur, water vapor already present must undergo a temperature drop. This is achieved by a change in air height which allows cold from space to descend and condense. A simple experiment can verify this which makes rain in a jar. Pour boiling water into the jar. Place a metal lid upside down on top of the jar. Place ice cubes into the lid. Wait a few minutes and watch as drops of rain start to fall from the underside of the lid to the water in the jar. Up aloft, the condensation occurs around dust, one dust particle for each raindrop. This produces rain. That is why after it has rained the car’s windscreen has dried dust on it.

A combination of celestial bodies at certain angles such as a higher Moon prevents rain by stabilising upper temperatures. Before the temperature drop aloft, you need a massive air-ocean of water sitting in the sky, evaporated in a hurry by warm temperatures acting on the surface of a nearby sea-ocean. That means a heater no less than the size of the Sun shining downwards. Then you need a Wind Shifter to get the whole kaboodle up to, say, Florida, a big movable fan that matches what causes gales at equinox time. This is to suggest gigantic machinery. Imagine the heaters, fans and ray guns that would have been needed to prevent this winter’s South Island snow.


Yet from time to time scientists come up with ambitious ideas using man-made rain-making machines claiming to generate special rays of electromagnetism aimed at clouds. Dust spreaders are about the closest it comes, but then we don’t know if it would have rained anyway because upper level temperatures would have to have dropped before the rain fell.

The weather begins at a higher level than most planes fly, which means that mechanical systems carried by planes would not be able to go there. There was a lot of speculation during WWII and the Cold War about the enemy developing storm systems to drop on us and it has recently made the headlines again that Moscow or N Korea may be developing new extreme weather weapons of mass destruction. Personally I would rather any day have a storm drop on my house than a bomb.


In the past all these systems turned out to be fiction. When you consider the sheer size of weather systems(look on a TV weather map) compared to the size, say, of a New York or London-sized city, which would not even register as a pinhead on the same scale, then you begin to see the scale of the weather. A single, small fluffy cloud can hold up to 1000 tons of moisture. 500 million tons of topsoil can be borne off in the wind during a single storm in Nebraska. On a hot afternoon, the atmosphere can evaporate water from the Gulf of Mexico at the rate of 5 thousand million gallons an hour, can transport those millions of tons northeast and then drop it all at once on New York. That can happen several times a day. A summer thunderstorm can be equivalent in energy to a dozen or so Hiroshima-type bombs, and a hurricane can have that amount of energy in every second. About 45,000 storm systems are believed to brew around the earth each day.


There is still a dream that a little machine on an aeroplane can posiitvely change weather, or a pile of vehicle exhausts can negatively alter it. You can be certain the day is near when research funds will be made available to send aloft a top-dresser in a tiny section of forgotten sky, loaded up to the gunnels with a clunky gismo, to see if it can break a drought.  The logic is a little twisted when climate scientists claim one day weather will be monitored by a machine, but they deny that the Moon, just under a third the size of Earth and relatively huge, cannot change the weather. I am not down on scientists. There is much we can use science for to our advantage. But our tax-dollars are too valuable to be wasted on whims. Here's how they would rather occupy their time.


April 9th, 1977Auckland Star
 “Was It All Worth While?
A team of scientists has been engaged on research for two years to discover
why eggs split so easily when they are boiled. And the solution seemed
ridiculously simple. Eggs are got to the consumer so quickly these days that
their air-cells, which grow with age, don’t get time to enlarge enough to
accommodate the egg contents that expand when boiled. Now Britain’s Egg
Marketing Board has to decide what to do with the information so
exhaustively and expensively acquired. Reaction of the average citizen, even
one troubled by eggs that crack when boiled, will probably be to express the
hope that the scientists concerned will spend the next 10 years doing
something more worthwhile”

Read the next article   Can we affect the weather

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