Weather control is the act of manipulating or altering certain aspects of the environment to produce desirable changes in weather.
History of weather control
Some American Indians had rituals which they believed could induce rain. The Finnish people, on the other hand, were believed by others to be able to control weather. As a result, Vikings refused to take Finns on their oceangoing raids. Remnants of this superstition lasted into the twentieth century, with some ship crews being reluctant to accept Finnish sailors. The early modern era saw people observe that during battles the firing of cannons and other firearms often initiated precipitation. Magical and religiouspractices to control the weather are attested in a variety of cultures. In Greek mythology, Iphigenia was sacrificed as a human sacrifice to appease the wrath of the goddessArtemis, who had caused the Achaean fleet to be becalmed at Aulis at the beginning of the Trojan War. In Homer‘s Odyssey, Aeolus, keeper of the winds, bestowedOdysseus and his crew with a gift of the four winds in a bag. However, the sailors open the bag while Odysseus slept, looking for booty, and as a result are blown off course by the resulting gale. In ancient Rome, the lapis manalis was a sacred stone kept outside the walls of Rome in a temple of Mars. When Rome suffered from drought, the stone was dragged into the city. The Berwick witches of Scotland were found guilty of using black magic to summon storms to murder King James VI of Scotland by seeking to sink the ship upon which he travelled. Scandinavian witches allegedly claimed to sell the wind in bags or magically confined into wooden staves; they sold the bags to seamen who could release them when becalmed. In various towns of Navarre, prayers petitioned Saint Peter to grant rain in time of drought. If the rain was not forthcoming, the statue of St Peter was removed from the church and tossed into a river. In the Middle Ages, Abbas Ibn Firnas invented an artificial weather simulation room in which spectators saw and were astonished by stars, clouds, artificial thunder, and lightning which were produced by mechanisms hidden in his basement laboratory.
Perhaps the first example of practical weather control is the lightning rod. In the 1950s, computer scientist John von Neumann, an early theorizer on weather control, surmised that if Earth were to enter another Ice Age, a preventative solution would be to dump dirt (or spray soot from cropdusting planes) on the surface of the planet’s glaciers. He noted that this would significantly change their reflectivity (albedo), and thus increase the solar energy retained by the planet. Such a strategy would require repeated applications, as storms would cover some portion of the soot with new snow until their frequency and range abated. The theoretical efficacy of von Neumann’s proposal remains to be examined. Wilhelm Reichperformed cloudbusting experiments in the 1950s to 1960s, the results of which are controversial and not widely accepted by mainstream science. Dr Walter Russell wrote of weather control in Atomic Suicide 1956. Jack Toyer in the 1970s built a rainmaker on Palmers Island near Grafton using a solar mirror, electromagnetic static charge, and infra red frequencies of light to induce weather in regional areas within Australia. His work was continued by his successor, Peter Stevens.
Cloud seeding for rain
Cloud seeding is a common technique intended to trigger rain, but evidence on its effectiveness is mixed. The most daunting problem in the study of weather modification is the lack of scientific knowledge on the natural atmospheric processes. Because these natural processes are beyond man’s current comprehension, there is simply no controllable medium to conduct relative studies known as of yet. And because of the public’s ever growing need for more water, there has also been a rapid development of corporations that perform unregulated operational cloud seeding. Critics generally contend that claimed successes occur in conditions which were going to rain anyway. It is used in several different countries, including the United States, the People’s Republic of China, and Russia. In the People’s Republic of China there is a perceived dependency upon it in dry regions, which believe they are increasing annual rainfall by firing silver iodide rockets into the sky where rain is desired. In the United States, dry ice or silver iodide may be injected into a cloud by aircraft, or from the ground, in an attempt to increase rainfall; some companies are dedicated to this form of weather modification.
Project Stormfury was an attempt to weaken tropical cyclones by flying aircraft into storms and seeding the eyewall with silver iodide. The project was run by the United States Government from 1962 to 1983. A similar project using soot was run in 1958, with inconclusive results. Various methods have been proposed to reduce the harmful effects of hurricanes. Moshe Alamaro of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology proposed using barges with upward-pointing jet engines to trigger smaller storms to disrupt the progress of an incoming hurricane; critics doubt the jets would be powerful enough to make any noticeable difference.
Alexandre Chorin of the University of California at Berkeley proposed dropping large amounts of environmentally friendly oils on the sea surface to prevent droplet formation. Experiments by Kerry Emanuel of MIT in 2002 suggested that hurricane-force winds would disrupt the oil slick, making it ineffective. Other scientists disputed the factual basis of the theoretical mechanism assumed by this approach. The Florida company Dyn-O-Mat proposes the use of a product it has developed, called Dyn-O-Gel, to reduce the strength of hurricanes. The substance is a polymer in powder form which reportedly has the ability to absorb 1,500 times its own weight in water. The theory is that the polymer is dropped into clouds to remove their moisture and force the storm to use more energy to move the heavier water drops, thus helping to dissipate the storm. When the gel reaches the ocean surface, it is reportedly dissolved. The company has tested the substance on a thunderstorm, but there has not been any scientific consensus established as to its effectiveness. Hail cannons are used by some farmers in an attempt to ward off hail, but there is no reliable scientific evidence to confirm or deny their effectiveness. Another new anti-hurricane technology  is a method for the reduction of tropical cyclones’ destructive force – pumping sea water into and diffusing it in the wind at the bottom of such tropical cyclone in its eyewall.
2008 Olympic games
In the largest rain dispersal operation on record in China, and the first time that such technology was used in conjunction with the Olympics, the Beijing Municipal Meteorological Bureau fired a total of 1,104rain dispersal rockets within an eight-hour period prior to and during the opening ceremonies of the Games of the XXIX Olympiad on August 8, 2008. The rockets were launched from twenty-one sites and may have prevented the ceremonies from receiving rainfall in the range of 25 to 100 millimeters of rain.
With a rainy weather forecast for the Olympic night, and 90% humidity, the attempt “successfully intercepted a stretch of rain belt from moving towards the stadium…” said Guo Hu, head of the Beijing Municipal Meteorological Bureau. “…”Under such a weather condition, a small bubble in the rain cloud would have triggered rainfall, let alone a lightning…” said Guo, according to Xinhua News’ 2008 Olympics website.In the subsequent days that followed torrential rain nearly washed the games out.
The High-frequency Active Auroral Research Program (HAARP) is a congressionally initiated program jointly managed by the U.S. Air Force and U.S. Navy. The HAARP complex is situated within a 23-acre lot in a relatively isolated region near the town of Gakona. When the final phase of the project is completed in 1997, the military will have erected 180 towers, 72 feet in height, forming a “high-power, high frequency phased array radio transmitter” capable of beaming in the 2.5-10 megahertz frequency range, at more than 3 gigawatts of power (3 billion watts). http://www.haarp.alaska.edu/haarp/prpeis.html
HIPAS has several diverse experimental facilities: a 1-megawatt rf transmitter to produce ELF/VLF (Extremely Low Frequency and Very Low Frequency) electromagnetic (EM) generation by the absorption ofradio frequency (rf) power in the arctic ionosphere including ion cyclotron excitation; a 100 kW rf plasma torch used in research on the destruction of hazardous waste; a 2.7 m liquid mirror telescope used with one of several lasers for ionospheric stimulation and measurement; an Incoherent Scatter Radar (a new project using 88 ft. diameter antenna at NOAA Gilmore Creek site 34 km SW of HIPAS as the receiving antenna with the transmitter at HIPAS). HIPAS is in the process of adding a very high power (terawatt) laser (recently obtained from LLNL) to perform laser breakdown experiments in the ionosphere. Two Diesel electric generators (1500 HP 4160 V, 3-phase, 1.2 MVA each) are used to power the experiments. There are a number of computers (PC’s ) on site, and a high-speed data line to UAF is available. While these experiments are useful in measuring the properties of the ionosphere, they produce insufficient amounts of energy to modify it in any significant way. however hotspots can be created within the ionospehere where this radiation is focused, temperatures can be elevated by up to 1600`k causing expansion of the ionosphere and subsequent changes in pressure and temperature, which in turn lead to changes in the global meteorology.
Weather control and law
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1977 Environmental Modification Convention
Weather control, as well as “weather tampering”, for hostile or military purposes is expressly forbidden dating from at least December 10, 1976, when the “United Nations General Assembly Resolution 31/72, TIAS 9614 Convention on the Prohibition of Military or Any Other Hostile Use of Environmental Modification Techniques” was adopted. The Convention was: Signed in Geneva May 18, 1977; Entered into force October 5, 1978; Ratification by U.S. President December 13, 1979; U.S. ratification deposited at New York January 17, 1980.
Space Preservation Act Title: To preserve the cooperative, peaceful uses of space for the benefit of all humankind by permanently prohibiting the basing of weapons in space by the United States, and to require the President to take action to adopt and implement a world treaty banning space-based weapons. Sponsor: Rep Kucinich, Dennis J. http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/z?c107:H.R.2977.IH: The bill originally mentioned chemtrails and H.A.A.R.P.,but was modified and resubmitted as H.R.3616 and H.R.2440. H.R. 2977 Space Preservation Act of 2001 introduced October 2, 2001, 107th Congress, 1st Session. The bill was referred to committee and no further action ensued. H.R. 3616 Space Preservation Act of 2002 introduced January 23, 2002, 107th Congress, 2d Session. The bill was referred to committee and no further action ensued. H.R. 2420 Space Preservation Act of 2005 introduced May 18, 2005, 109th Congress, 1st Session, with 34 co-sponsors (see accompanying list). The bill was referred to committee and no further action ensued. http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=Space_Preservation_Act
2005 U.S. Senate Bill 517 and U.S. House Bill 2995
U.S. Senate Bill 517 and U.S. House Bill 2995 were two laws proposed in 2005 that would have allowed experimental weather modification by artificial methods, attempted to establish a Weather Modification Operations and Research Board, and implemented a national weather modification policy. Neither ever became law.
U.S. Senate Bill 1807 & U.S. House Bill 3445 Senate Bill 1807 and House Bill 3445, identical bills introduced July 17, 2007, propose to establish a Weather Mitigation Advisory and Research Board to federally fund weather modification research http://tlp.law.pitt.edu/SP_DiLorenzo_Weather%20Modification.htm sponsored by Kay Bailey Hutcheson and Mark Udall. http://www.govtrack.us/congress/bill.xpd?bill=s110-1807
Climatologist Ross Hoffman has simulated hurricane control based on selective heating and cooling (or prevention of evaporation). Futurist John Smart has discussed the potential for weather control via space-based solar power networks. One proposal involves the gentle heating via microwave of portions of large hurricanes. Such chaotic systems may be susceptible to “side steering” with a few degrees of increased temperature/pressure at critical points. A sufficient network might keep the largest and most potentially damaging hurricanes from landfall, at the request of host nations. Blizzards, monsoons, and other extreme weather are also potential candidates for space-based amelioration.[citations needed] If large-scale weather control were to become feasible, potential implications may include:
- Unintended side effects, especially given the chaotic nature of weather development
- Damage to existing ecosystems
- Health risks to humans
- Equipment malfunction or accidents
- Non-democratic control or use as a weapon
For the 2008 Olympics, China had 30 airplanes, 4,000 rocket launchers, and 7,000 anti-aircraft guns to stop rain. Each system would shoot various chemicals into any threatening clouds to shrink rain drops before they reach the stadium.
Weather control in popular culture
In popular culture, weather control technology can be encountered in the realms of public speculation, science fiction, and fantasy. The concept of weather control is often portrayed as a part of terraforming.
Film and television
- In the Star Trek universe, most advanced planets and colonies utilize weather control, often referred to as weather modification grids or weather modification nets. A small, but long-established TNG-era (ca2369) colony was a weather control facility for approximately a hundred years. Most advanced civilizations apparently employ weather control standard equipment.
- Weather control technology in 2270s required special facilities, modern TNG– and DS9-era technology consists of multiple mid-size devices positioned strategically, networked and controlled from more-or-less arbitrary places.
- For example, the planet Risa has its climate controlled to be a tropical paradise. Perhaps one of the few modern exceptions of planets apparently without weather control technology is Ferenginar with continuous rain.
Other films or shows
- In the Sci Fi Channel original series, Stargate SG1, Episode 214, “Touchstone“, aired on October 30, 1998, the Stargate SG1 team discovers a weather control device on an alien planet, which is subsequently stolen and brought to earth, where experimenting with it wreaked havoc with the local weather. The device was later recaptured and returned to its original planet which had suffered phenomenal storms since it had been stolen.
- In the Disney Channel Original Movie, The Ultimate Christmas Present, two girls find a weather machine and make it snow in Los Angeles.
- In the live action Justice League of America film, the villain is a terrorist who has a weather control device.
- In Aliens, a colony sent to LV-426 by the Company utilized a fusion-powered terraforming atmosphere processor. In the first film, the planet’s climate was not yet suitable for human life.
- In The Arrival, a race of aliens is found to be terraforming the Earth using hidden factories producing huge volumes of highly potent, engineered “super-greenhouse gases”.
- In the 1987 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles cartoon series, the episode “Hot Rodding Teenagers from Dimension X” includes Stone Warriors using a “weather satellite“, with one difference: while other weather satellite gives weather prognosis, this one “makes weather”. The “weather satellite” creates a storm to level New York City, but the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles destroy it. The episode “Take Me to Your Leader” of the same series include Krang and the Shredder using a machine to reduce the Sun, creating cold weather on the Earth.
- Storm (played by Halle Berry in the 2000 film and subsequent sequels), a member of the X-Men, can control the weather with her mind.
- In Superman III, Gus Gorman (Richard Pryor) changes the weather by hacking into a weather satellite.
- In a Family Guy episode, Stewie builds a machine that can control the weather using only a satellite dish and a See ‘n Say.
- In the film The Avengers Sir August de Wynter (Sean Connery) creates a satellite capable of controlling the weather.
- Our Man Flint is a 1966 sci-fi action film which stars James Coburn as Derek Flint where a trio of mad scientists attempt to blackmail the world with a weather-control machine.
- Kaijûtô no kessen: Gojira no musuko is a 1967 film from Japan. Scientists, on a tropical island, conduct weather control experiments then encounter gigantic praying mantises and a giant spider that attack the son of Godzilla. Godzilla arrives and saves his offspring.
- The cartoon miniseries G.I. Joe: The Revenge of Cobra, showed the terrorist group Cobra in possession of a device called the Weather Dominator.
- American Daytime soap opera General Hospital featured a storyline where mad genius Mikkos Cassadine used a substance called Carbonic Snow to create a blizzard in the show’s locale Port Charles in the middle of what had been a long hot summer in order to blackmail world leaders into accepting his new world order. Luke Spencer managed to thwart the plan.
- In WALL-E, the Megacorporation known as Buy N Large, had established a Global Weather Control System, the system was made of satellites that would change and control the weather in the areas that they were in. The system worked so well that soon Buy N Large even launched a program in which citizens can book certain weather in the areas where they live. Such as, scheduling a Thunderstorm during a parade so that it will literally “rain on their parade.”
- In the sci-fi drama series Heroes, Angela Petrelli’s long-lost sister, Alice Shaw, was revealed to be able to control weather.
- In Master Of Orion, it is possible to build a weather control building to change the planet’s environment.
- In Command & Conquer: Red Alert 2 and Command & Conquer: Yuri’s Revenge Expansion Pack, the Allies can build the weather control device superweapon, and direct thunderstorms to strike a selected location of the map every 10 minutes.
- In Tribunal, an expansion pack to The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind, the player finds a machine under the city of Almalexia that can change the weather of the city at the will of its user.
- In Phantasy Star II, a weather, irrigation and dam control system known as Climatrol has been constructed by Mother Brain to make the barren planet Motavia habitable for Palman occupation.
- In the game Spore by Will Wright, players are able to use a spacecraft to modify planetary atmospheres – creating volcanoes to generate carbon dioxide, seeding plant life to create breathable air, or even using a “Genesis device” to make a planet habitable in one go. There is no actual controlling of weather, however.
- In “Earth 2150“, the Lunar Corporation are capable of building a weather control station for tactical weather control. The structure can be charged to cause storms, fog, and/or wind at targeted areas on the map.
- In Fable 2 Knothole island Expansion, the player can control weather by obtaining weather crystals and using them in a weather chamber, 3 crystals represent sun,rain and snow.
- in The Sims 2 seasons Expansion, players can use a season changing device to make a certain season permanent or prolong a desired season for a number of in-game days.
- Ben Bova‘s The Weathermakers is the story of a government agency that controls the weather.
- Sidney Sheldon‘s Are You Afraid of the Dark is the story of a think tank that builds technology powerful enough to create hurricanes, tornadoes, and tsunamis.
- In Michael Crichton‘s State of Fear, ecoterrorists plan to create a tsunami, calve an iceberg, and induce flash flooding and hurricanes.
- In Normand Lester’s science thriller Verglas, the 1998 icestorm that struck the Montréal area is an experiment by the Pentagon in the development of a climatic weapon that went wrong. The book speculate that ULF waves generated by a transmitter at Siple Station, a US base in Antarctica, caused the icestorm by affecting the ionosphere over Québec.
- In Lois Lowry‘s The Giver, the government controls the weather and keeps it from snowing, and confine rain to the farmland.
- In the book series Weather Warden by Rachel Caine, the Wardens are an association of people who have the ability to control the elements – earth, fire and weather. They manipulate these elements to stop natural disasters from devastating mankind. The main character herself is a Weather Warden, so weather manipulation plays a large role throughout the series.
- In Roger Zelazny‘s The Chronicles of Amber an openly known quality of the Jewel of Judgment is the ability to control the local weather.
- In Frank Herbert‘s Dune series, weather control is widespread, and is achieved with specialized satellites in orbit around a planet.
Other fictional weather controllers
- DC Comics villain Weather Wizard could control the weather with a special kind of technology in the shape of a wand.
- Marvel Comics heroes Thor and Storm could control weather; the former because he is the Norse god of thunder, the latter because she is a mutant whose powers specifically center around weather control.
- Digimon character Wizardmon could manipulate thunderstorms.
- When the Muppet Count von Count of Sesame Street laughs, it often invokes thunder.
- In some of the Asterix comics, when the village bard Cacofonix sings, it starts to rain.
- In the 2000 AD world of Judge Dredd the weather in Mega City One is controlled by a weather control station positioned above the populous and is used to spread a chemical which causes Block War by the city of East Meg One
- In the Nintendo Gameboy Advance Video Game Pokemon Sapphire, The Pokemon “Kyogre” controlled the rain and the tides in Hoenn.
- In the BIONICLE Saga, weather control is one of the many powers the Makuta species have.
Conspiracy theorists have suggested that certain governments use or seek to use weather control as a weapon (eg via HAARP and/or chemtrails), but such allegations have not been proven. At a counterterrorism conference in 1997, United States Secretary of Defense William Cohen referred to the writings of futurist Alvin Toffler, specifically regarding concerns about “eco-terrorism” and intentionally caused natural disasters.