Through a series of exercises in this lesson, the learners will discover the state of the science of cloud seeding, including the conceptual model of using silver iodide in wintertime clouds over the mountains. The learners will also determine the factors that contribute to differences in regional cloud seeding efficacy, and will think through common questions about cloud seeding related to potential impacts outside the seeding area and environmental concerns.
Describe the conceptual model of winter orographic precipitation enhancement through AgI cloud seeding
Explain the different methods (ground- vs aircraft-based) and associated considerations
Describe the key factors that contribute to the differences in cloud seeding effectiveness for different areas:
The characteristics of the storm like temperature and SLW content of the clouds
Atmospheric stability and flow patterns (atmospheric stability and wind speed influences)
Explain why it is difficult to offer a definitive answer regarding cloud seeding effects
Explain why the impact of cloud seeding in a targeted area has been historically challenging to detect when compared to natural variability
Explain how new tools are moving the science of cloud seeding forward
Describe how computer modeling enables scientists to run controlled experiments in more sophisticated ways compared to decades past
Explain how high resolution radar allows for improved understanding of complexities in clouds, as well as the detection of the zig zag pattern from aircraft-based seeding
Describe potential impacts of cloud seeding on the environment and in areas outside of the seeded region snowfall
Describe results from trace chemistry analyses that show the impact of AgI cloud seeding on snow, water, and soil is hard to detect when compared to the background/natural levels of silver
Describe the reasons why the effect outside the targeted area is estimated to be small and the locations impacted by seeding outside the targeted area will vary based upon wind direction and speed and other atmospheric conditions
Describe ways that cloud-seeding programs can mitigate concerns about cloud seeding exacerbating flooding or leading to other adverse impacts on infrastructure and society.
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