China’s Chemical Rockets Induce Rainfall as Drought Hits Hard

By Lars James Hamer, August 18, 2022

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Several provinces in China have turned to cloud seeding operations in an attempt to tackle the lack of rain which has led to severe drought across the country, reports the BBC

Hubei and other provinces along the Yangtze River are firing chemical-carrying rockets into the sky in an attempt to create clouds, and thus rain. 

China is currently well into the second month of its longest-ever heatwave on record, according to the National Climate Centre. 

READ MORE: Shanghai's Extreme Heatwave Officially the Hottest on Record

Temperatures have reached over 40 degrees Celsius on numerous occasions in many areas. 

The lack of rain and high temperatures have led to the Yangtze River, the longest river in China, falling to record low levels. 

On Wednesday, the Ministry of Water Resources said that the drought is "adversely affecting drinking water security of rural people and livestock, and the growth of crops," as quoted in Shine

Water reservoirs in the country are also down by half in some areas. 

In Chongqing, water storage levels are said to be down to 30% lower than is deemed safe, as reported by Sixth Tone

To boost supplies, water discharge levels from the Three Gorges Dam will be increased by 500 million cubic meters over 10 days, starting from Tuesday, August 17. 

The constant heat has also led to an increase in demand for air conditioning, putting extra pressure on power companies. 

In Sichuan province, local governments have requested that air conditioners be limited to a minimum of 26 degrees Celsius and that workers use stairs rather than lifts. 

In Chengdu, the capital of Sichuan province, certain industries have been asked to temporarily cease production in order to ration electricity. 

READ MORE: Why is Southwest China’s Chengdu Rationing Electricity?

[Cover image screengrab via Weibo@湖北日报]

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