What is artificial rain and how it helps fight smog?

What is artificial rain and how it helps fight smog?


The process costs Rs40m for one time

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LAHORE (Dunya News) – Lahore has constantly grabbed unenviable title of the world’s most polluted city. The start of the smog season has made matters worse as the Air Quality Index has touched dangerous proportion – it has surpassed AQI 300. 

Rain can reduce the hazardous effects linked with smog. But, chances are minimal till the mid of December. But, due to technology and as practiced by some countries, artificial rain can work efficiently to give the citizens a better quality of air. 

In this regard, the caretaker Punjab government has decided to use artificial rain to curb the smog. 

A committee of experts has also been formed by the government for artificial rain on Nov 28 and 29. Punjab University Institute of Geography's Dr Manoor Saber, a member of the technical committee, said Rs40 million would be required to make it rain once. 

How artificial rain works? 

Artificial rain is also known as cloud seeding and it is a weather modification technique that aims to stimulate precipitation. This is done by introducing different substances into clouds that further promote the formation of raindrops or snowflakes. This whole process is known as cloud seeding. 

It is used for rainfall in areas that are experiencing drought or suffering from poor air quality. This process can be performed either from a plane or drone, or particles can be shot up from the ground.

Artificial rain's effectiveness against air pollution 

It washes away pollutants in the air such as particulate matter (PM), nitrogen oxides (NOx), and sulfur dioxide (SO2) that helps reduce smog. 

It helps to reduce the amount of dust and other particulates in the air. They can irritate the eyes, nose, and throat, and can also aggravate asthma and other respiratory conditions. 

Is artificial rain possible in Pakistan? 

According to Meteorological Department Regional Director Shahid Abbas, artificial rain is not a difficult process but there are few conditions for the success of this experiment. He said for effective cloud seeding (artificial rain), at least 40pc clouds should be present and air humidity should be at least 70pc.