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Punk Rock Legend Henry Rollins Has A Grim Reminder For Trump Supporters
« Reply #3885 on: August 16, 2019, 07:23:24 AM »
Punk Rock Legend Henry Rollins Has A Grim Reminder For Trump Supporters
The former Black Flag frontman said Trump is only speeding up what his supporters fear most.




Punk rock legend Henry Rollins predicted that President Donald Trump will likely win a second term next year ― but said it will hasten the change in the nation that he and his supporters fear. 

I think it’s going to blow up in their faces,” he told the Daily Beast.  

“What’s happening now is young people are saying, ‘Oh, part of my job today, besides being a gorgeous 17-year-old young person, is to not hate gay people, is to not be racist, is to not call someone a ‘fag’ or anyone a ‘bitch.’ I’m not going to be a misogynist like my weird uncle who spouts off at Thanksgiving dinner. Like, that’s one of my jobs, is to not repeat this.’”

Rollins offered Trump supporters a stark reminder of their own mortality given their age. 

“Literally, their demographic is dying,” he told the Daily Beast.

In their place is a younger and more tolerant generation ― one that shows their punk attitude in ways outside of music. 

“You’re going to see ‘our prom queen this year is my friend Cedric and he got a unanimous vote and the teachers are so pissed,’” he said, adding: 

“That’s what’s going to happen. I think there’s going to be a huge rejection of this really antiquated bigotry. And so I think what you’re seeing right now is the old guard kicking and screaming as it’s dying off. And that, to me, is 2019 punk rock.” 

"It is difficult to write a paradiso when all the superficial indications are that you ought to write an apocalypse." -Ezra Pound

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A Weather Station Above the Arctic Circle Hit 94.6 Degrees Fahrenheit
« Reply #3886 on: August 16, 2019, 07:52:05 AM »
Illustration for article titled A Weather Station Above the Arctic Circle Hit 94.6 Degrees Fahrenheit

Amid the hottest month in recorded history, some records still stand out as absolutely jaw dropping. That’s definitely true of a measurement made in the Arctic this July.

According to data released in the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) monthly climate analysis, a weather station in Sweden north of the Arctic Circle hit a stunning 94.6 Fahrenheit (34.8 degrees Celsius) last month. As an isolated data point, it would be shocking. But coupled with a host of other maladies, from no sea ice within 125 miles of Alaska to the unruly fires ravaging Siberia, it’s an exclamation point on the climate crisis.

The steamy temperature was recorded on July 26 in the small Swedish outpost of Markusvinsa, which sits on the southern edge of the Arctic Circle. Deke Arndt, a NOAA climate scientist, said on a call with reporters that the data was analyzed and quality controlled by the Swedish Meteorological and Hydrological Institute and that “they have established that as highest temperature north of the Arctic Circle” for the country. For comparison, the hottest temperature recorded in New York City last month was 95 degrees Fahrenheit (35 degrees Celsius).

The heat wave that enveloped the Arctic spread a lot farther than Markusvinsa, though. Alaska recorded its hottest month ever amid extremely weird weather for the state. The heat has driven massive wildfire, and smoke from those fires enveloped Anchorage and Fairbanks, the former of which has had its smokiest summer on record, according to Alaska weather expert Rick Thoman. Salmon dieoffs, the earliest walrus haul out ever recorded, and emaciated animals have also been reported around the state.

During the same press call, Thoman expanded on the reasons why it’s been so weird in Alaska. The big one is the disappearance of sea ice six to eight weeks ahead of schedule, which has left a 125-mile ring of open water around the state. Oceans were already warm going into the summer, but the dark exposed ocean water has absorbed even more heat compared to the normally reflective ice cover.

Thoman called it “remarkable warmth” and said it surpassed the oceanic heat wave dubbed The Blob that gripped the northeastern Pacific in 2015. The hot oceans have in turn heated up the land. Increased evaporation has thus cranked up the humidity, leading to some uncomfortably warm nights in Alaska.

Just as the heat hasn’t been confined to Markusvinsa, the disappearing sea ice isn’t just an Alaskan coast thing. The Arctic Ocean as a whole recorded its lowest July sea ice extent ever, which could have in part helped fuel a bizarre lightning storm just a few hundred miles from the North Pole. Sea ice was a staggering 19.8 percent below average, dipping well under the previous low set in July 2012. Sea ice stans may recall 2012 as the year sea ice hit a record minimum extent. While we’re still six to eight weeks away from the annual sea ice minimum, and things could change in the coming month or so, this year’s icepack is in decidedly bad shape.

July’s Arctic heat is part of a larger global trend driven by carbon pollution. The NOAA data released on Thursday also confirmed that July was the hottest month ever recorded on Earth, with temperature edging 1.7 degrees Fahrenheit (0.95 degrees Celsius) above the 20th-century average. Based on the heat in the first seven months of 2019, the world is almost certain to have one of its five warmest years on record. Using data analyzed separately by Berkeley Earth, climate scientist Robert Rohde tweeted that there’s a 90 percent chance that 2019 will go down as the second hottest year on record, trailing only 2016.

"It is difficult to write a paradiso when all the superficial indications are that you ought to write an apocalypse." -Ezra Pound

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Arctic sea ice loaded with microplastics
« Reply #3887 on: August 17, 2019, 04:14:24 AM »
Arctic sea ice loaded with microplastics

Arctic sea ice loaded with microplastics

by Marlowe Hood

Scientists who collected the Arctic sea ice were shocked at the amount of plastic of all kinds it contained—beads, filaments, ny

At first glance, it looks like hard candy laced with flecks of fake fruit, or a third grader's art project confected from recycled debris.

In reality, it's a sliver of Arctic Ocean sea ice riddled with microplastics, extracted by scientists from deep inside an ice block that likely drifted southward past Greenland into Canada's increasingly navigable Northwest Passage between the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans.

"We didn't expect this amount of plastic, we were shocked," said University of Rhode Island ice expert Alessandra D'Angelo, one of a dozen scientists collecting and analysing data during an 18-day expedition aboard the Swedish icebreaker Oden.

"There is so much of it, and of every kind—beads, filaments, nylons," she told AFP from Greenland, days after completing the voyage.

Plastic pollution was not a primary focus of the Northwest Passage Project, funded by the US National Science Foundation and Heising-Simons Foundation.

Led by oceanographer Brice Loose, the multi-year mission is investigating how global warming might transform the biochemistry and ecosystems of the expansive Canadian Arctic Archipelago.

'Punch to the stomach'

One key question is whether the receding ice pack and influx of fresh water will boost the release into the atmosphere of methane, a greenhouse gas 30 times more potent that CO2.

The Arctic region has warmed twice as quickly as the global average, some two degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels.

Average Arctic sea ice extent set a record low for July, nearly 20 percent below the 1981-2010 average, the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) reported on Thursday.

But plastics has inserted itself onto the research agenda all the same.

Map showing the likely path of a drifting Arctic sea ice block in which samples extracted by scientists showed microplastic cont

"The ubiquity of plastic, for us it was kind of a punch to the stomach," Loose said.

"Just to see what looked like a normal ice core in such a pristine environment chock full of this completely foreign material."

A study published Thursday in Science Advances concluded that a large quantity of microplastic fragments and fibres are transported by winds into the Arctic region, and then hitch a ride Earthward in snowflakes.

At the same time, several million tonnes of plastics find their way each year directly into oceans, where waves and the Sun break them down into microscopic bits over time.

'Acts like a sieve'

For the samples collected by Loose's team—near the hamlet of Resolute—the low salinity and thickness of the ice left no doubt that it was more than a year old, and had originated in the northern Arctic Ocean.

The concentration of plastic bits in the ice was far higher than in surrounding water.

"As water freezes it forms crystals," explained Jacob Strock, another member of the team from the University of Rhode Island.

"Water passes through these crystals as they form," he told AFP. "The ice acts like a sieve, filtering out particles in the water."

Tiny plants and animals, called plankton, also get trapped in the ice. Some plankton ingest the plastic bits, which then work their way up the ocean food chain.

Plastic particles have recently been found inside fish in the deepest recesses of the ocean, called the Mariana Trench, and blanketing the most pristine snows in the Pyrenees mountains between France and Spain.

In the last two decades, the world has produced as much as during the rest of history, and the industry is set to grow by four percent a year until 2025, according to a recent report by Grand View Research.

"It is difficult to write a paradiso when all the superficial indications are that you ought to write an apocalypse." -Ezra Pound

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Dangerous Lake Erie Algal Bloom Is Now Eight Times the Size of Cleveland
« Reply #3888 on: August 17, 2019, 04:22:49 AM »
Dangerous Lake Erie Algal Bloom Is Now Eight Times the Size of Cleveland



By Pam Wright

19 hours ago

weather.com

At a Glance

  • An outbreak of microcystis cyanobacteria, the organism responsible for harmful algae blooms, has become a yearly occurrence on Lake Erie.
  • NASA captured an image the massive bloom on July 30, when it covered 300 square miles, roughly the size of New York City.
  • By Aug. 13, the bloom had doubled to more than 620 square miles, eight times the size of Cleveland.

A harmful algae bloom that began growing in western Lake Erie in July has more than doubled in size in a few weeks.

On July 30, NASA captured an image of the bloom from space. At the time, the bloom covered 300 square miles, roughly the size of New York City. By Aug. 13, the bloom had doubled to more than 620 square miles, according to NASA. That's eight times the size of Cleveland, which sits on the shore of Lake Erie.

Outbreaks of microcystis cyanobacteria, the organism responsible for harmful algae blooms, has become a yearly occurrence on Lake Erie. Earlier this year, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration predicted a severe bloom this summer, which became a reality in July primarily as a result of calm winds and abundant rainfall.

"Calm winds in July allowed algal toxins to accumulate at the surface (instead of being dispersed). Strong winds in August have since mixed some surface algae to deeper depths. Heavy rains carry excess nutrients (often fertilizer) from farms into the lake," NASA said in a statement.

NOAA noted in its prediction that this summer's bloom was expected to be larger than the mild bloom in 2018 and would measure greater than a 7 on the severity index, which is based on a bloom’s biomass, or the amount of its harmful algae, over a sustained period.

The largest blooms, 2011 and 2015, were 10 and 10.5, respectively, according to NOAA.

NOAA's 2019 harmful algae bloom outlook on Lake Erie, compared to previous years.
(NOAA)

On July 29, NOAA reported unsafe toxin concentrations in Lake Erie and have since advised people and their pets to stay away from areas where "scum is forming on the water surface."

"Green patches show where the bloom was most dense and where toxicity levels were unsafe for recreational activities," NASA said in its statement.

On Thursday, NOAA said in a weekly Lake Erie bulletin that measured toxin concentrations had decreased since the previous week but "may continue to exceed the recreational threshold where the bloom is most dense (appearing green from a boat)." The agency continued to warn people to keep themselves and their pets out of water where scum had formed.

Harmful algal blooms come from the runoff from nearby farms and ordinary neighborhoods that contain human waste and fertilizers. Nitrogen and phosphorus, as well as other nutrients in the polluted runoff, can act like fertilizer for the algae, creating large and extensive blooms.

(MORE: Millions in Major Cities Lack Access to Safe, Reliable Water Systems, and It's Getting Worse, Report Says)

NASA noted that this spring's heavy rainfall was a mixed blessing: It helped create the bloom in the first place but also prevented the situation from becoming worse.

"Nutrient runoff may have been less than anticipated this year because heavy spring rains and flooding prevented many farmers from planting crops," NASA said.

NOAA said the bloom is expected to continue into early fall.

If ingested, water contaminated with toxic cyanobacteria can cause nausea, vomiting and, in severe cases, acute liver failure, according to Florida's FWCC. While there have been no documented cases of anyone becoming ill from drinking water containing these toxins, it remains a concern.

The Centers for Disease Control says coming in direct contact with the algae can cause a rash and some research indicates a link between long-term inhalation of toxic algae fumes and neurological disorders like Parkinson’s and Lou Gehrig’s diseases.

"It is difficult to write a paradiso when all the superficial indications are that you ought to write an apocalypse." -Ezra Pound

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8-year-old Mexican Girl Wins Nuclear Sciences Prize For Her Invention
« Reply #3889 on: August 17, 2019, 12:03:35 PM »
8-year-old Mexican Girl Wins Nuclear Sciences Prize For Her Invention
A little girl from Chiapas was recognized by UNAM's Institute of Nuclear Sciences for her outstanding scientific achievement.


By O. DELGADO640946 views
8-year-old Mexican Girl Wins Nuclear Sciences Prize For Her Invention

At just 8 years old, Xóchitl Guadalupe Cruz has invented a device to help low-income families.

The little girl from Chiapas was recognized by UNAM's Institute of Nuclear Sciences for her outstanding scientific achievement.

In Xóchitl's community in Chiapas, Mexico, resources are scarce. "People don't have the money to buy heaters, so they chop down trees to get firewood [to heat the water]," she says.

The 3rd grader took it upon herself to do something about it. 

A veteran of science projects - she's been competing in science fairs since she was four - Xochitl set about putting her knowledge and ingenuity to work. Using only discarded materials like bottles, wood, and plastics, she crafted a heating device that runs on a free and readily available energy source: the sun.

Her device not only functions to provide hot water to low-income families in her community, it also saves trees! 

Xóchitl's family helped her set up the device on their roof and have been using it to heat water to bathe. Xóchitl says she always bathes quickly though, "so [the hot water] will last for my little brother."

The young inventor was recently recognized by the Nuclear Sciences Institute at Mexico's Autonomous University for her solar-powered water-heating device, which has the potential to improve lives and the environment not only in rural Mexican communities, but in countries around the world.

If this is what Xóchitl is doing at eight, we can only imagine what the future holds.

« Last Edit: August 17, 2019, 12:21:29 PM by Surly1 »
"It is difficult to write a paradiso when all the superficial indications are that you ought to write an apocalypse." -Ezra Pound

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Plague-infected prairie dogs have shut down parts of a Denver suburb
« Reply #3890 on: August 18, 2019, 07:04:33 AM »
Plague-infected prairie dogs have shut down parts of a Denver suburb

Plague-infected prairie dogs have shut down parts of a Denver suburb

(CNN)Prairie dogs infected with the plague -- yes, the plague -- have shut down parts of a city and wildlife area near Denver this summer.

Sections of the Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge were closed in late July as a precautionary measure after the discovery of the disease, the US Fish and WIldlife Service said.
Unaffected refuge areas reopened Saturday, but other locations in Commerce City, a suburb north of Denver, will remain closed until Labor Day weekend, the Tri-County Health Department said.
"The prairie dog colonies are being monitored and burrows are being treated with insecticide, but there is still evidence of fleas in the hiking and camping areas, which could put people and pets at risk, so those areas will remain closed," said John M. Douglas, Jr., the Executive Director of Tri-County Health Department.
No human infections have been reported, he said.
Despite its name and fatal history in the Middle Ages, the plague is rare and generally treatable, at least in the United States.
The plague is caused by the Yersinia pestis bacteria and is fairly common in the rural western US, including Colorado, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. On average, seven human plague cases have been reported each year in recent decades, according to the CDC.
In general, small mammals and rodents with infected fleas carry the disease, which can spread to pets or humans by flea bites or contact with an infected mammal.
More than 80% of US cases have been the bubonic form. Untreated bubonic plague can turn into the more serious pneumonic plague, which causes rapidly developing pneumonia after bacteria spread to the lungs.
"It is difficult to write a paradiso when all the superficial indications are that you ought to write an apocalypse." -Ezra Pound

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China needs more water. So it's building a rain-making network 3X Spain
« Reply #3891 on: August 18, 2019, 07:15:19 AM »
China needs more water. So it's building a rain-making network three times the size of Spain
Vast system of chambers on Tibetan plateau could send enough particles into the atmosphere to allow extensive clouds to form


Stephen Chen

Stephen Chen

The Tibetan Plateau is the source of most of Asia’s largest rivers, but it suffers from low annual rainfall. Photo: Alamy

China is testing cutting-edge defence technology to develop a powerful yet relatively low-cost weather modification system to bring substantially more rain to the Tibetan plateau, Asia’s biggest freshwater reserve.

The system, which involves an enormous network of fuel-burning chambers installed high up on the Tibetan mountains, could increase rainfall in the region by up to 10 billion cubic metres a year – about 7 per cent of China’s total water consumption – according to researchers involved in the project. 

Tens of thousands of chambers will be built at selected locations across the Tibetan plateau to produce rainfall over a total area of about 1.6 million square kilometres (620,000 square miles), or three times the size of Spain. It will be the world’s biggest such project.

The chambers burn solid fuel to produce silver iodide, a cloud-seeding agent with a crystalline structure much like ice. 

The chambers stand on steep mountain ridges facing the moist monsoon from south Asia. As wind hits the mountain, it produces an upward draft and sweeps the particles into the clouds to induce rain and snow.

One of the fuel-burning chambers that have been deployed on the Tibetan plateau. Photo: maduo.gov.cn
One of the fuel-burning chambers that have been deployed on the Tibetan plateau. Photo: maduo.gov.cn
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“[So far,] more than 500 burners have been deployed on alpine slopes in Tibet, Xinjiang and other areas for experimental use. The data we have collected show very promising results,” a researcher working on the system told the South China Morning Post

The system is being developed by the state-owned China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation – a major space and defence contractor that is also leading other ambitious national projects, including lunar exploration and the construction of China’s space station. 

Space scientists designed and constructed the chambers using cutting-edge military rocket engine technology, enabling them to safely and efficiently burn the high-density solid fuel in the oxygen-scarce environment at an altitude of over 5,000 metres (16,400 feet), according to the researcher who declined to be named due to the project’s sensitivity. 

While the idea is not new – other countries like the United States have conducted similar tests on small sites – China is the first to attempt such a large-scale application of the technology. 

The chambers’ daily operation will be guided by highly precise real-time data collected from a network of 30 small weather satellites monitoring monsoon activities over the Indian Ocean. 

The ground-based network will also employ other cloud-seeding methods using planes, drones and artillery to maximise the effect of the weather modification system. 

Is Mekong River set to become the new South China Sea for regional disputes?

The gigantic glaciers and enormous underground reservoirs found on the Tibetan plateau, which is often referred to as Asia’s water tower, render it the source of most of the continent’s biggest rivers – including the Yellow, Yangtze, Mekong, Salween and Brahmaputra. 

The rivers, which flow through China, India, Nepal, Laos, Myanmar and several other countries, are a lifeline to almost half of the world’s population. 

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But because of shortages across the continent, the Tibetan plateau is also seen as a potential flashpoint as Asian nations struggle to secure control over freshwater resources. 

Despite the large volume of water-rich air currents that pass over the plateau each day, the plateau is one of the driest places on Earth. Most areas receive less than 10cm of rain a year. An area that sees less than 25cm of rain annually is defined as a desert by the US Geological Survey. 

Rain is formed when moist air cools and collides with particles floating in the atmosphere, creating heavy water droplets.

Resource-hungry China is in overdrive as it wages water wars by stealth

The silver iodide produced by the burning chambers will provide the particles required to form rain. 

Radar data showed that a gentle breeze could carry the cloud-seeding particles more than 1,000 metres above the mountain peaks, according to the researcher. 

A single chamber can form a strip of thick clouds stretching across more than 5km. 

“Sometimes snow would start falling almost immediately after we ignited the chamber. It was like standing on the stage of a magic show,” he said. 

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The technology was initially developed as part of the Chinese military’s weather modification programme. 

China and other countries, including Russia and the United States, have been researching ways to trigger natural disasters such as floods, droughts and tornadoes to weaken their enemies in the event of severe conflict. 

Efforts to employ the defence technology for civilian use began over a decade ago, the researcher said.

One of the biggest challenges the rainmakers faced was finding a way to keep the chambers operating in one of the world’s most remote and hostile environments.

“In our early trials, the flame often extinguished midway [because of the lack of oxygen in the area],” the researcher said. 

But now, after several improvements to the design, the chambers should be able to operate in a near-vacuum for months, or even years, without requiring maintenance. 

China diverts 10 billion cubic metres of water to arid north

They also burn fuel as cleanly and efficiently as rocket engines, releasing only vapours and carbon dioxide, which makes them suitable for use even in environmentally protected areas. 

Communications and other electronic equipment is powered by solar energy and the chambers can be operated by a smart phone app thousands of kilometres away for through the satellite forecasting system.

The chambers have one clear advantage over other cloud-seeding methods such as using planes, cannons and drones to blast silver iodide into the atmosphere. 

“Other methods requires the establishment of a no-fly zone. This can be time-consuming and troublesome in any country, especially China,” the researcher said. 

One of the chambers in operation in Xinjiang autonomous region. Photo: xjqx.cn
One of the chambers in operation in Xinjiang autonomous region. Photo: xjqx.cn
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The ground-based network also comes at a relatively low price – each burning unit costs about 50,000 yuan (US$8,000) to build and install. Costs are likely to drop further due to mass production. 

In comparison, a cloud-seeding plane costs several million yuan and covers a smaller area. 

One downside of the burning chambers, however, is that they will not work in the absence of wind or when the wind is blowing the wrong direction. 

This month, the China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation signed an agreement with Tsinghua University and Qinghai province to set up a large-scale weather modification system on the Tibetan plateau. 

In 2016 researchers from Tsinghua, China’s leading research university, first proposed a project – named Tianhe or Sky River – to increase the water supply in China’s arid northern regions by manipulating the climate. 

The project aims to intercept the water vapour carried by the Indian monsoon over the Tibetan plateau and redistribute it in the northern regions to increase the water supply there by five to 10 billion cubic metres a year. 

Chinese engineers plan 1,000km tunnel to make Xinjiang desert bloom

The aerospace corporation’s president, Lei Fanpei, said in a speech that China’s space industry would integrate its weather modification programme with Tsinghua’s Sky River project. 

“[Modifying the weather in Tibet] is a critical innovation to solve China’s water shortage problem,” Lei said. “It will make an important contribution not only to China’s development and world prosperity, but also the well being of the entire human race.” 

Tsinghua president Qiu Yong said the agreement signalled the central government’s determination to apply cutting-edge military technology in civilian sectors. The technology will significantly spur development in China’s western regions, he added. 

The contents of the agreement are being kept confidential as it contains sensitive information that the authorities have deemed unsuitable to be revealed at the moment, a Tsinghua professor with knowledge of the deal told the Post

Scientists at Tsinghua University in Beijing first devised the plan for the “Sky River”. Photo: Shutterstock
Scientists at Tsinghua University in Beijing first devised the plan for the “Sky River”. Photo: Shutterstock
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Climate simulations show that the Tibetan plateau is likely to experience a severe drought over the coming decades as natural rainfall fails to replenish the water lost as a result of rising temperatures. 

“The satellite network and weather modification measures are to make preparations for the worst-case scenario,” the Tsinghua researcher said. 

The exact scale and launch date for the programme has not been fixed as it is pending final approval from the central government, he said. 

Debate is also ongoing within the project team over the best approach for the project, he added. While some favour the use of the chambers, others prefer cloud-seeding planes as they have a smaller environmental footprint. 

Spring is coming earlier to the Tibetan plateau and it could affect the lives of millions

Ma Weiqiang, a researcher with the Chinese Academy of Sciences’ Institute of Tibetan Plateau Research, said a cloud-seeding experiment on such a scale was unprecedented and could help answer many intriguing scientific questions. 

In theory, the chambers could affect the weather and even the climate in the region if they are built in large enough numbers. But they might not work as perfectly in real life, according to the researcher. 

“I am sceptical about the amount of rainfall they can produce. A weather system can be huge. It can make all human efforts look vain,” Ma said. 

Beijing might not give the green light for the project either, he added, as intercepting the moisture in the skies over Tibet could have a knock-on effect and reduce rainfall in other Chinese regions. 

This article appeared in the South China Morning Post print edition as: Scientists test military tech for world’s biggestrain-making network Scientists test military tech for rain network
"It is difficult to write a paradiso when all the superficial indications are that you ought to write an apocalypse." -Ezra Pound

 

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