The Effect of Rainfall on a Large Steelworks

T. L. Ogden Division of Radiophysics, CSIRO, Sydney, Australia

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Abstract

Port Kembla steelworks, on the New South Wales coast, produced 3.6 million tons of steel in 1967. Relative to background, its output of freezing nuclei (at −15.8C) is probably negligible, but its output of condensation nuclei is high, and the outputs of heat and water vapor are appreciable. There are about 90 rainfall stations within 100 km of the plant which were operating 15 years before steelmaking began. When other extraneous effects are allowed for, their records show probably no influence of the steelworks greater than 5% on total rainfall, summer rain (when onshore winds predominate), or light rain.

The effect of the Chicago industrial complex on precipitation, reported by Changnon, showed itself mainly in changes in other variables, but was apparently evident also in changes in total precipitation readings. It is shown that the dates and nature of the changes in this variable make the industrial effect an unlikely explanation.

Abstract

Port Kembla steelworks, on the New South Wales coast, produced 3.6 million tons of steel in 1967. Relative to background, its output of freezing nuclei (at −15.8C) is probably negligible, but its output of condensation nuclei is high, and the outputs of heat and water vapor are appreciable. There are about 90 rainfall stations within 100 km of the plant which were operating 15 years before steelmaking began. When other extraneous effects are allowed for, their records show probably no influence of the steelworks greater than 5% on total rainfall, summer rain (when onshore winds predominate), or light rain.

The effect of the Chicago industrial complex on precipitation, reported by Changnon, showed itself mainly in changes in other variables, but was apparently evident also in changes in total precipitation readings. It is shown that the dates and nature of the changes in this variable make the industrial effect an unlikely explanation.

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