Humans Have Intentionally Modified Weather for Military Purposes and Climate Control for Decades
Jan 5, 2011
Weather modification is a well-known endeavor. For example, governments have been seeding clouds for decades to create more rain.
And during warfare to create mud to slow the enemy’s ability to use roads.
As the Guardian reported in 2001:
During the Vietnam war, the Americans launched Project Popeye, a secret mission to seed the tops of monsoon clouds and trigger phenomenal downpours that would wash away the Ho Chi Minh Trail used for ferrying supplies.For five years Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos were sprayed during the monsoons, and military intelligence claimed that rainfall was increased by a third in some places. It only came to an end in March 1971 when [Washington Post] journalist Jack Anderson exposed the project and caused such a public furor that the UN general assembly approved a universal treaty banning environmental warfare.
But the US air force planners recently came up with new proposals to launch new weather weapons. Instead of silver-iodide, the idea is to shower fine particles of heat-absorbing carbon over clouds to trigger localised flooding and bog down troops and their equipment. Lasers on aircraft would also trigger lightning onto enemy aircraft, whilst other lasers could be fired at fog to clear a path over enemy targets on the ground.
Whether or not they work, past experiences tell us to be wary of tampering with the weather. In 1947, meteorologists tried to kill off a dying hurricane out at sea by seeding the clouds. The following day, the hurricane suddenly gathered strength, swung round and hit Savannah, Georgia causing extensive damage. The weather boffins were so rattled by the disaster it was not until August 1969 that they dared try again.
When Hurricane Debbie was 700 miles out at sea, they flew three seeding missions around its eye, where tropical storms are at their most intense, but the results were mixed – with each seeding the hurricane’s winds were reduced and each time they picked up again.
Interestingly, U.S. weather modification efforts during the Vietnam war were revealed as part of the Pentagon Papers.