Water as droplets and ice can gain a charge. If they rub together they lose electrons and become positively charged, so much that electrons have to come from Earth, up to the clouds to neutralize the imbalance. We call that lighting. It also occurs between clouds. Apparently someone realized that it may be charged that prevents water and ice from coalescing and forming rain. Rain we see fallin down starts in the clouds as ice nuclei (because clouds are usually very cold) that become bigger and bigger until they fall down. If they melt before they hit the ground they are rain, if they don’t they are hail and if they evaporate we don’t see rain (but perhaps low clouds).
After observing a fog near a high voltage tower, the inventor and electrical engineer, Nikola Tesla (1856–1943), said “I am positive … that we can draw unlimited amounts of water for irrigation”
Someone realized that it might be charge that keeps large ice granules from forming. If you disturbe the charge distribution you can cause rain. The actual effectiveness is not reported, but it seems this is a great invention. The reason is that you need very little to trigger rain, and you could even do it on a permanent basis by using kites. Suddenly there is a use case for high flying kites generating electricity from wind and triggering rainfall.
“Dr Nicoll is hopeful that the technology produced for the project could be used to stimulate clouds to produce rain in the years to come. “It is likely that charging cloud droplets on its own won’t replace established cloud-seeding techniques, but it could work alongside existing techniques to maximise the efficiency of cloud seeding,” she said.”
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Pretty epic, want to see if this works with a kite. You basically need an ozone generator mounted on a kite, parts are dirt cheap. Maybe once the rain begins to fall this causes a downdraft that will mean more water droplets bond together. So you only need to trigger this proces.
Clouds are water that is icy cold, the water has lost any heat it picked up at the Earth surface and lost it to space and lower air pressure (only the radiation from the top side means cooling).
Now triggering a downpour from icy clounds will cool the surface, it will mean new evaporation can take place and the heat gets transported by the water to the higher atmosphere, where it can release it to space (which it can radiate to). Less water vapour in the air (as a result of rain and cooling) also means less warming by the sun.
It may be that this technology can reduce rain accumulation as part of huriccanes forming. These are a result of breaking the vapour barrier above the water by evaporating water. Usually triggered by wind. A lot of water evaporates and this causes wind to be drawn in and more evaporation. The heat of the ocean gets ‘dumped’ into the atmosphere and a storm develops. What if that storm rains out? The ability to trigger rain with very little equipment that can even rain aloft continuously may mean we can bleed cloud systems of their rain content before they hit land..
Not having clouds means radiation can reach space. With clouds it gets bounced back which means the heat is trapped. So being able to remove clouds is also a valuable ability.