Enormous sonic weapons used to ‘shake rain out of clouds’ by scientists

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China is shaking the rain out of clouds by blasting them with massive sound guns.

Researchers found firing ultra-deep soundwaves into the sky increased downpours by up to 17%.

The sonic blasts work by exciting floating water particles and making them crash into each other to form droplets.

Their low frequencies between 50 to 160 hertz are barely audible to humans.

But the speakers' volume is the equivalent of an ambulance siren or gunshot.

And they could help even out rainfall across China, the Times reports.

Their unusual method avoids the need for releasing "cloud-seeding" chemicals into the atmosphere.

More than 20 trillion tonnes of water passes over the country with the south generally suffering from flooding while the north gets droughts.

Wang Guangqian, a professor of hydraulic engineering at Tsinghua University, and his team think only one-fifth of that is capable of falling as precipitation without intervention.

Now their experiments on the arid Tibetan Plateau have found aiming loudspeakers at clouds increased rainfall by as much as 17%.

Prof Guanggian explained the sound waves energised the particles within the clouds, making them oscillate and increasing the "relative movement between cloud droplets".

His research team wrote: "Low-frequency, high-intensity acoustic waves excite the cloud body, vibrating it.

"This accelerates the collision coalescence of water vapour, rapidly increases raindrop particle size, and triggers precipitation."

The researchers argued in the journal Scientia Sinica Technologica that the technique had a number of advantages over other rain-making methods such as dropping silver iodide into clouds, as there was no chemical pollution or need for aircraft or rockets.

  • China
  • Science

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