A paradox has developed involving on one hand sizeable reductions during the last two years in federal support of weather modification, as opposed to major scientific-technical advances in the field plus strong recommendations for increased federal support from the scientific community. The major recent advances include the capability to operationally dissipate cold fogs, to enhance snow from orographic clouds, and to increase rain from tropical clouds, plus the discovery of sizeable urban-related increases in rainfall. Other advances include special weather radars, aircraft with new cloud sensors and the capability to penetrate thunderstorms, new seeding materials and delivery systems, and new techniques for evaluation of projects. These have been coupled with the spread of weather modification around the world and with the initiation of major seeding projects in Colorado (NHRE, HIPLEX, and San Juan Project), Florida, South Dakota, and Illinois-Missouri (METROMEX). Several groups (NACOA, NAS, ICAS, NWC, AMS) all made a series of positive recommendations for advancing the field through more federal support and reorganization. Yet, beginning in FY74, federal support for weather modification dropped 21% when other R&D increased 11%. Many possible causes for the paradox appear, including fear of weather changes, lack of scientific commitment, and a series of public, scientific, political, and military controversies. The three basic issues are that weather modification is still an immature technology; the socio-economic impacts are ill defined; and its management has been uncertain. Proper resolution of the paradox is more apt to occur either because of a dramatic scientific breakthrough or from growing concerns about weather and climate-related environmental changes.
Research Article| 1 January 1975
the paradox of planned weather modification
Bull. Amer. Meteor. Soc. (1975) 56 (1): 27–37.
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Changnon, S. A., 1975: the paradox of planned weather modification. Bull. Amer. Meteor. Soc., 56, 27–37, https://doi.org/10.1175/1520-0477(1975)056<0027:TPOPWM>2.0.CO;2.
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