Order some rain for your dry lawn, cancel the upcoming tornado, schedule a week of sunshine for your vacation…
What if we could manipulate the weather just like that? Would there be no more hurricanes, no storms, and no floods? Could we ease climate change? And who would decide what kind of weather to make? Here’s what would happen if we could control the weather.
Over 11,000 observation stations around the world take hourly measurements of temperature, humidity and wind. Twice a day, weather balloons are launched from 900 locations to collect the weather information and transmit it to weather stations.
Every year, the science of weather forecasting is getting more advanced. And still, you’re never entirely sure whether you should take your umbrella in case of rain.
The weather is so ever-changing that even with all our mathematical models, there’s only so much we can predict. But what if we knew exactly what kind of weather to expect every day, because we were the ones creating it?
What if I told you that humans can alter the weather?
For example, cloud seeding, a method in which we add chemicals to the atmosphere, allows us to induce rain to end droughts, or to decrease it to save the region from hails and hurricanes. The chemicals alter the microphysical processes within the clouds, and change the amount of precipitation
Cloud seeding can prevent rain from spoiling a big party like the Summer Olympics in Beijing. All you need is a couple of dozen airplanes and a few thousand anti-aircraft guns to scatter small particles of silver iodide into the air. The particles will alter the microphysical processes within the clouds and change the amount of precipitation.
We can even fire laser pulses into thunderclouds to trigger lightning that travels down a controlled path.
Well, the field experiments weren’t exactly successful, but at least the tests in the lab showed that it’s possible.
Of course, we can’t create the weather, only enhance it. The Earth’s atmosphere is so big, we can’t quite dictate what it should do. But what if we could?
That would be a whole new level of taking over the planet.
We would tame cataclysmic thunderstorms by shooting our lightning-discharging lasers. We’d spill some dry ice to form a supercooled cloud and prevent a disastrous heat wave.
We’d stop tornadoes, hurricanes and floods from taking people’s lives and damaging our property.
With total control of the weather, farming would thrive. Dry season? Just brew up a refreshing rainfall. Too much water? Just turn off the precipitation tap.
You could buy a house in the tropics, and never have to worry about it getting ripped away by a storm.
Your plane would never get canceled due to bad weather.
With scheduled rainfall, you’d know exactly when to take your umbrella with you. Maybe you’d even be able to order someone’s favorite weather conditions as a gift.
Finally, we could bring the Earth’s temperature back down to what it was before we started spewing all these greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. We could probably reverse the climate change that we humans are responsible for. Doesn’t that sound awesome?
But being able to decide the world’s weather is serious business. Who would control the weather? And who would control people who control the weather?
Well, governments might create some kind of Ministry of Weather Modification, or private companies might be allowed to monopolized the weather. Then they’d get to decide how much you have to pay for a sunny day.
Would the weather be weaponized? Could we create bolts of lightning for personal use? And what if countries started fighting or going to war over weather priorities?
There are some serious threats to consider when taking over the weather. But it doesn’t look like we’ll have complete power over it any time soon. Until we do, people will always have something to complain about.