backtop


Print 115 comment(s) - last by nofranchise.. on Apr 4 at 7:58 AM


  (Source: Reuters)

A Chinese worker demonstrates how he will fire a barrage against errant clouds during the Olympics in August.   (Source: Reuters)
China will bring out the BFGs to try to make sure weather doesn't rain on its Olympics

China may have to worry about clouds of smog and black soot due to its lax environmental policies and large scale adoption of inefficient partial-combustion obsolete technologies, but one thing it won't have to worry about at the 2008 Beijing Olympics this August is rain – that is if everything goes according to plan.

China is leveraging its significant military resources to wage a war against Mother Nature.  China plans to deploy 20 anti-aircraft (AA) guns around the city, firing a steady barrage of special payloads containing silver iodide and dry ice into cloud cover, whenever it should appear.  The Chinese hope that this novel strategy will help make the Olympics rain free and perhaps give it a chance to show off its military prowess.

The country is so confident in its rain fighting powers that the 91,000-seat Olympic stadium, nicknamed the "Bird's Nest," has no roof.  The efforts are being led by the city's Weather Modification Office, a sub-branch of the China Meteorological Administration.  The AA/rocket launcher assault is only one phase of a three-pronged assault the Office plans to deploy against inconvenient weather.

The first phase is detection.  China will use satellites, planes, and radar to track incoming weather.  It will also leverage the power of an IBM p575 supercomputer, which the city purchased last year.  The computer is capable of doing a modest 9.8 trillion floating point operations per second and has enough power to accurately model by the kilometer hourly reports for the entire 44,000 square kilometer (17,000 square mile) Beijing area.

Upon detection, the second phase will commence, starting with a barrage from 20 ground-based sites encircling the stadium.  Two aircraft will also be scrambled to spray dry ice and silver iodide into the clouds in an attempt to stop them from reaching the stadium.

If rain manages to break through these barriers, China will deploy its weapon of last resort:  liquid nitrogen.  Aircraft will pummel the clouds with liquid nitrogen.  This, according to officials, will increase the number of droplets in the cloud, but reduce their size, making them less likely to fall.  Officials hope this last ditch effort might hold off the clouds long enough for them to pass safely over the stadium before releasing rain.

There is a 50 percent chance of precipitation during any day that month, according to past trends.  The games will occur during Northeast Asia's rainy season.  Zhang Qian, head of Beijing's Weather Modification Office, warns that past results for weather modification during heavy rain haven't always been successful.  However, he optimistically mentions, "the results with light rain have been satisfactory."

The Chinese government is working very hard to try to make the games a demonstration in the countries newfound power and prosperity.  The government spent $40B USD bringing 120,000 migrant workers (at $130 per month) into Beijing for the massive construction projects planned, starting in 2001. In all, 1.5 million people will be displaced by the new construction projects. 

China, with a population of 1.32 billion, has a penchant for excess; featuring the world's largest dam, the world's highest railroad, and in 2009, the world's largest Ferris wheel.  China's weather modification program will also be the largest in the world, when fully deployed.  It will feature over 1,500 weather modification professionals who will coordinate 30 aircraft and their crews, and a ground force of 37,000 part-time workers, mostly peasant farmers.



Comments     Threshold


This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled

RE: "Weather Engineering"
By eye smite on 3/27/2008 8:29:43 PM , Rating: 3
I have to disagree with you, so lets define a couple of things. Intelligence and being smart are 2 different things. You can be as intelligent as you want and still make very stupid decisions....look at AOL. How would you know if the average chinese person is happy with themselves, they're probably just like Americans living in their own little world not messing with anyone and don't want to be messed with. I'd say you're right though. The constant killing of protestors over the last 60 years keeps them to a minimum. And yes, if you call all of Tibet a minority, they are being oppressed. Now I won't presume to apply American standards to the way the world works over there, but this is a constant repeat of China just killing people in Tibet because they want their leader back and the Chinese out. The reason I call them retards is because they have the hubirous to try and control the weather whilst being the biggest polluters industrially speaking on the face of the earth. That being said, you tell me how that's smart?


RE: "Weather Engineering"
By Ringold on 3/28/2008 9:06:10 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
The constant killing of protestors over the last 60 years keeps them to a minimum.


Except for, you know, the 60,000 protests in 2006 alone. Thats just the number the government admits; who knows how much higher the real one is. Unfortunately I don't have the number but for context it'd be interesting to see how many take place in the US during.. more quiet periods (ie, how many occured total across the US in 1999).

Difference with Tibet and your average protest complaining about the air or price controls (apparently, the people are capitalist enough to strongly dislike price controls -- unlike us they know it leads to shortages) is that those people in Tibet just didn't want to disperse.

I think the ruling class over there understands its sitting atop a powder keg, and they'll constantly improve things to keep themselves im power, but slowly. Prosperity solves many problems for them, and as long as the capitalism flows, so shall the prosperity.

Of course business cycles are inevitable; depressions are typically where communism/socialism grabs the imagination of the ignorant masses and becomes political reality. How does a 'communist' nation have a communist revolution? :P

Hopefully we never find out, as I imagine it wouldn't be pretty.


"It seems as though my state-funded math degree has failed me. Let the lashings commence." -- DailyTech Editor-in-Chief Kristopher Kubicki














botimage
Copyright 2014 DailyTech LLC. - RSS Feed | Advertise | About Us | Ethics | FAQ | Terms, Conditions & Privacy Information | Kristopher Kubicki