Can Rain Makers Really Make Rain?
Whenever there's a drought, someone will come up with the idea of finding a rain maker, or holding a day of prayer for rain.
Now far be it for me to make light of people who are in truly desperate straits and who are prepared to try anything to relieve their precarious situation. The worst that can happen, assuming no deliberate or unknowing fraud, is that everyone has something else to think about for a day or so. For a while they have some cause for hope.
And it may indeed rain and the drought will be over. But in most cases not.
For more information on droughts, visit http://www.home-weather-stations-guide.com/drought.html
Rain making can be divided into two types - cloud seeding, which has strong scientific and engineering reasoning behind it, and, for the moment, everything else.
Cloud seeding has been used to create or increase rain for over 50 years, and while the results are a little patchy and rarely spectacular, when the right combination of cloud seeding method and clouds is present, it has been shown to work many times over, and in a cost effective way.
But what of the rest? I don't wish to question the power of prayer, which presumably transcends all physical rules, but it is worth looking at just what it would take to change the weather pattern before it is ready to change.
But first let's take a look at the rain maker's methods.
They can be divided into two parts - local knowledge and rainmaking techniques or ceremonies.
Firstly, rainmakers with a good reputation will generally be folk with a strong knowledge of local weather, climate, and seasonal changes. Some of these may be subconscious, but I think we can give them some credit for astuteness and good observational powers. This allows the rainmaker to practise his or her rituals at a time when a change in the weather seems most likely. With good local weather knowledge, chances of success will be high, and in any event, payment is usually dependent on success. It is also human nature to remember (and advertise) the successes and forget the failures.
In primitive societies, rain makers usually have an inbuilt "get out" clause. The rain making ceremony consists of certain things done by the rain maker, supported by other rituals, requirements, or prohibitions required of the community the rain maker is serving.
These may be bans on certain foods or practices, but if the rain doesn't come, who is to say that someone in the community failed to play their part, destroying the rain maker's good efforts?
And eventually, with persistence, the rain will come.
So, in a very general way, that's how the rain maker works.
But let's see what he or she is up against.
Weather is the local end result of the effects of the vast atmospheric circulation system, which works towards creating some sort of balance between unequal heating of the earths surface, the planet's rotation, transferring water from the oceans to the atmosphere and back again, variable distribution of warm and cold water currents in the oceans, and much, much more.
All this takes a huge amount of energy. Let's put it in perspective. In 1945, an atomic bomb was dropped on the Japanese city of Hiroshima, effectively destroying it. That bomb was the equivalent of 12,500 tons of TNT, or 12.5 kilotons. An average thunderstorm generates the equivalent of 20 kilotons.
A hurricane generates the equivalent of a 10 megaton bomb - 10 million tons of TNT - every 20 minutes. Some people have asked why large bombs aren't used to divert or destroy hurricanes. Others have suggested that would be about as effective as throwing a ping-pong ball at a charging elephant.
To create rain out of nothing, a rain maker would need to control huge amounts of energy to overcome the inertia of the stable weather systems associated with droughts. With that sort of power, why hasn't the rain maker taken over the world, hopefully for the good of all, or at the very least made his fortune by affecting the results of horse races?
Copyright 2005, Graham McClung.
A retired geologist, Graham McClung has had a lifelong interest in the outdoors. And where there's outdoors there's weather. He is the editor of http://www.Home-Weather-Stations-Guide.com, where you can find reviews and advice to help you choose and use your own home weather station. You can contact him by email at email@example.com
This RSS feed URL is deprecated, please update. New URLs can be found in the footers at https://news.google.com/news
Climate change doubters are finalists for Environmental Protection Agency Science Advisory Board - Science Magazine
'Could Somebody Please Debunk This?': Writing About Science When Even the Scientists Are Nervous - New York Times
Composite Materials in Ships, Pipelines, Liners and Aircraft
One future problem, which has not sufficiently been addressed, is that of the fumes and smoke created when composite material burns. Composite material is a truly great human achievement in material science, however as we use this material in more and more places we need to be acutely aware of the risks and potential consequences of their use.
How Do Cities Grow?
You see the cities in America started where there was a river and small populations sprung up, then the railroad steam engines needed a place to fill up the water. Eventually the towns got larger and grew near the rail stations.
Welcome to the Eye Science
Thousands of dyslexic students, across the UK, are referred of something called "Asfedic tuning", this is a procedure that supposedly results in a precise identification of a persons optimal background best suited for acquiring the optimum reading speeds. Here are my notes about this: Is this Aprotocol@ a form of unconscious sensory teaching that Arecalibrates@ the retinal receptors to filter the returned spectral frequencies of light returned off the perimeter of the target object? Or is there a more fundamental brain architecture reprogramming process involved.
Medical Miracle or Mistake?
Fundamental elements of life and the aspects of cloning bring dramatic advancement to the scientific and medical community; however, is this fast-paced artificial reproduction an intrusion of Nature or a doorway to infinite, medical cures?In lieu of scientific developments in the biological mainstream, the human intervention of life and it's natural state are of utmost concern. Questions are being raised as to what constitutes life produced naturally into this world as opposed to man-made biocreationism.
Visual Limits of the Human Brain Processing Speed
Visual limits of the human brain and the visual processing time is quite evident. This why animals have camouflage skin, humans get headaches at trade shows and why video or game players will be the fighter pilots of the future.
4D Mapping of Mars Will Find Life
Let us discuss the mapping of Mars and some thoughts on the matter. We have mapped the Earth by using Satellites and have a complete GIS mapping with complete mineral deposits, underground oil areas, volcanic plumes and even huge natural water aquifers.
Mini-Robots, Motherships, Swarm Strategies, Wasps, Ants, Organization and Delivery
Robots are for every one. Tech TV now host Battle Bots which is a big hit with viewers and draws crowds as big as WFB Wrestling.
What is Science?
Students often ask; "What exactly is science?" Professors explain by discussing theories, proofs, laws of physics, observations, duplication of results, etc..
INSPIRATIONAL COMMENTS:"There is a principle which is a bar against all information, which is proof against all arguments and which cannot fail to keep a man in everlasting ignorance - that principle is contempt prior to investigation. - Herbert Spencer"Albert Einstein - "We are seeking for the simplest possible scheme of thought that will bind together the observed facts.
Shamans and Their Documented Abilities
Many Shamans will go into a sweat house to get their premonitions, here is a make shift sweat house used by such native Indians;http://www.nativeradio.
N400 Brain Wave to Assist in Learning and in Performance
In any important task you need to stay alert and in some professions someone could lose their life ifyou are not staying heads up or cause a serious accident where someone else has to pay with theirs. Not good, so what is the solution here? Here is a thought on learning, safety, brain waves and winning.
CCTV Decoy Registration System
Avoiding cameras? Gotcha, what are you trying to hide from. Cameras in Subways and airports often do not get a face shot good enough for face recognition software.
Sound From Transmission Power Lines Should Never Be Wasted
High Tension Power lines and transmission line towers make noise, we have all heard this. But Sound can be a source of energy in that it can be harvested to make steam in my humble opinion.
Space Probes Speed Up
Recently scientists were amazed that the space probes now leaving our solar system suddenly started to speed up? They should not be surprised because the gravity from the sun pulls in material from around our solar system and then compacts it. Just like our atmosphere is more concentrated closer in.
Paternity Testing Regulation: Help or Hindrance?
IntroductionThe internet has opened up opportunities for many DNA laboratories to distribute free paternity test kits in hopes of a sale from returned samples. In Europe, France is the only country that regulates how paternity tests are conducted.
Electrical Industrys Protection - Destruction for Good
Destruction! Blow Up! Eliminate! These are not pleasant words!Unfortunately, when it comes to safety we have no other choices. In the electrical industry, fuses are destroyed in order to protect lives or property.
Tactile Squeegee for Plexiglas Windows
Cleaning Plexiglas windows is not easy, you have to be careful to apply the right amount of pressure. Too little pressure and you do not clean it very well.
Servicing Missions to the Hubble Space Telescope
The Hubble Space Telescope received its first Service Mission in December 1993. The missions most important objective was to install two devices to fix the Hubble Telescope's vision problem .
MAVs, UAVs, and Insect Flight Characteristics
MAVs and UAVs and Insect Flight Characteristics seem to have a lot in common. Millions of years of evolution in nature seem to have been one of the greatest engineering schools around.
DNA Testing Breaks Down Barriers in the Court Room
DNA testing has three major applications for forensic studies: identification of missing persons; identification of victims of wars, accidents, and natural disasters; and crime investigation. Annually, more than 20,000 forensic DNA tests are performed in the UK.
|home | site map | Xray Photography|