AFTER realising that the available data — on clouds and how their behaviour affects monsoon — is limited, the Ministry of Earth Sciences (MoES) is planning to undertake more studies in this area. Along with experiments, the ministry has recently decided to set up the country’s first Aerosol Flare Testing Lab, where chemicals that are used in seeding clouds will be studied. After successfully completing its first phase in June this year, scientists are aiming to include more cloud-related studies in the second phase of the Monsoon Mission project.
“There is limited knowledge pertaining to clouds and their role in weather and monsoon. Through these experiments, we hope to fill the gap areas,” M Rajeevan, Secretary, MoES told The Indian Express.
The core of undertaking cloud-seeding experiments is knowing the exact size and chemical combination of particles that must be released inside any identified potent cloud.
“The knowledge on chemical combinations that are most suitable still remains limited,” said Thara Prabhakaran, project director of Cloud Aerosol Interaction and Precipitation Enhancement Experiment (CAIPEEX).
The Aerosol Flare Testing Lab will develop the right kind of seeding chemical materials in the flares, which are used during seeding processes. This lab will also test available flares for their potential to form cloud droplets, so that a level of maximum optimisation could be obtained.