What Is Artificial Rain, And How Will It Help Reduce Pollution In Delhi?

Artificial rain, also known as cloud seeding, is a weather modification technique where substances are introduced into clouds to encourage precipitation.

What Is Artificial Rain, And How Will It Help Reduce Pollution In Delhi?

Delhi Air Pollution: The government is trying to tackle the issue by implementing measures.

The Delhi government is planning to use artificial rain through cloud seeding this month to tackle the high air pollution in the city. Environment Minister Gopal Rai met with a team from IIT Kanpur on November 8 to explore implementing artificial rainfall in the city. Following the meeting, Mr Rai mentioned that if the skies are cloudy on November 20-21, Delhi might experience artificial rainfall. It is a creative approach to address the Air Quality Index (AQI) concerns in the capital.

What is artificial rain?

Artificial rain, also known as cloud seeding, is a weather modification technique where substances are introduced into clouds to encourage precipitation. In the case of cloud seeding for rain, common substances like silver iodide or potassium iodide are dispersed into the clouds using aeroplanes or helicopters. These particles serve as nuclei around which water droplets can form, eventually leading to the development of raindrops. The process typically takes around half an hour, but its success depends on specific meteorological conditions, such as the presence of moisture-laden clouds and suitable wind patterns. The aim is to enhance rainfall in specific areas or alleviate drought conditions. It's a fascinating method used to influence weather patterns for agricultural, environmental, or water resource management purposes. 

Delhi, today, has an AQI of 670, which is extremely “hazardous”, according to the Delhi Air Pollution Board. Pollutants like fine particulate matter (PM2.5 and PM10), nitrogen dioxide (NO2), sulfur dioxide (SO2), and others are likely to be well above safe limits, contributing to respiratory issues, cardiovascular problems, and other health complications. Vulnerable populations, such as children, the elderly, and individuals with pre-existing health conditions, are particularly at risk. Breathing in the polluted air in Delhi is said to be like smoking around 10 cigarettes a day, according to doctors.

The government is trying to tackle the issue by implementing measures like the odd-even scheme for vehicles, closing schools for in-person classes, and following Stage IV of the Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP). However, experts are warning that things might get even worse during Diwali due to firecrackers.

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