New Delhi Adopts Artificial Rain to Clear Air Pollution
In a desperate bid to tackle air pollution, India’s capital New Delhi is looking at cloud seeding, in other words – artificial rain. Clean air during this time of the year in northern India is rare as farmers in the states of Punjab and Haryana turn to stubble burning because it’s a low-cost solution to tilling the straw into the land.
It’s not only an agricultural problem, but industries and hundreds of thousands of vehicles on the roads. The Delhi government ministers have taken up on-ground visits to ensure the enforcement of anti-pollution measures in the city. It is also looking at stopping the entry of app-based taxis registered in other states.
Currently, the air quality is at very severe levels, AQI was at 423 in the morning. As such, the Directorate of Education ordered advancing the winter break for all the schools in Delhi. Schools will be totally closed from today to November 18.
How Can Rain Help?
According to MIT, rain can clear the atmosphere of pollutants like soot, sulfates and organic particles. Atmospheric chemists at MIT say given the altitude of a cloud, the size of its droplets and the diameter and concentration of aerosols, they can predict the likelihood that a raindrop will sweep a participle out of the atmosphere.
Rain can clear smoke and reduce air pollution. There are various studies highlighting rainfall can improve air quality. Matthew Villafane, a meteorologist, explained that as rain falls through the atmosphere, it attracts ten to hundreds of suspended particles in the air. These can range from pollutants to organic particles.
“This is a process called coagulation. When the rain travels from the atmosphere to the ground, it takes all of these suspended particles down with it, essentially cleansing the air.”
New Delhi Artificial Rain
New Delhi is taking up IIT Kanpur’s ingenious solution – cloud seeding or artificial rain. This technique aims to create conditions conducive to controlling excessive pollution in Delhi. One of the researchers at the institute claims this could be a quick solution to the capital’s poor air quality. This technology can help wash away pollutants and dust with man-made rain. It will provide a temporary, but effective solution for Delhi and its neighboring states.
Cloud seeding is a weather modification technique. It improves a cloud’s ability to produce rain or snow by introducing tiny ice nuclei into certain types of subfreezing clouds.