Sunday, September 18, 2011

Only Happy When it Rains

There is so little rain in Beijing that when it rains just a drop, Thomas gets out all the good gear:

We're all always very happy when it rains. Not just because it doesn't happen a whole lot--though in Summer quite a bit more than in the Fall and Winter--but also because it cleans up the sky and usually means the next day will be nice and non-polluted.

Rain is also generated artificially here. I can't really tell how often the rain is induced or just natural, but it is quite a common thing here. Just the fact that there is a Beijing Weather Modification Office shows how serious the approach is. Apparently China is in the lead with using silver iodide, loaded on rockets, to seed clouds and create rain. (See for example this BBC article or this article in How Stuff Works.)

The technique is used apparently to fight droughts, decrease bad dust storms and pollution, and lower summer temperatures (to decrease energy consumption for air conditioning), but it also seems to me it is used a lot to create nice weather and reduce pollution for important national holidays. (You can for example reliably plan an outdoor event on October 1, China's National Day.)

Because I don't have any picturs of cloud seeding (though this Wikipedia page shows some), I'll just show a few more pictures of the guy who is so happy in the rain...

Busy in the play ground behind our house.

Very fast with the chop sticks.

Putting up his best smile for a picture.

At the art show.

Too tired to read!

No comments:

Post a Comment