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What Does Weather Modification Need? A View from the Operational Level

Thomas J. HendersonAtmospherics Incorporated, Fresno, Calif. 93727

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Abstract

For 30 years the field of weather modification has been struggling through a labyrinth of scientific, legal, societal, economic, legislative and operational paths which have produced a continuing controversy on the propriety of operations, the credibility of stated results, and the priorities of research. Such is the nature of our quest for knowledge and the ultimate application of new ideas. Weather modification is unique in that it deals with infinitely changing atmospheric parameters which are more difficult to predict and measure than the unknowns in most other disciplines. If a subject is poorly understood, it is always poorly explained and in the end more rigorously questioned by the uninformed. The present status of weather modification should be neither surprising nor discouraging to the point of rejection.

This paper explores some of the major problems at the operational level and discusses the interactions between applications and the other facets of our society which influence those engaged in operations. Some specific suggestions are presented on how we might find our way from the labyrinth to a clear path in the future.

Abstract

For 30 years the field of weather modification has been struggling through a labyrinth of scientific, legal, societal, economic, legislative and operational paths which have produced a continuing controversy on the propriety of operations, the credibility of stated results, and the priorities of research. Such is the nature of our quest for knowledge and the ultimate application of new ideas. Weather modification is unique in that it deals with infinitely changing atmospheric parameters which are more difficult to predict and measure than the unknowns in most other disciplines. If a subject is poorly understood, it is always poorly explained and in the end more rigorously questioned by the uninformed. The present status of weather modification should be neither surprising nor discouraging to the point of rejection.

This paper explores some of the major problems at the operational level and discusses the interactions between applications and the other facets of our society which influence those engaged in operations. Some specific suggestions are presented on how we might find our way from the labyrinth to a clear path in the future.

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