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Chinese Cloud Seeding Not Environmental Threat: Official March 4, 2011
Satellite Image
Chinese military personnel prepare cloud-seeding canisters on the outside of a snow-making aircraft.
The head of the China Meteorological Administration assured concerned residents that the agency’s attempts to create artificial snow to ease a record drought this winter have not polluted the environment.

Zheng Guoguang told the People’s Daily that the dry ice, liquid nitrogen and other catalysts being released from aircraft to seed clouds in the affected areas vaporize into carbon dioxide and nitrogen — all natural components of the atmosphere.

He added that the small amount of silver iodide also used is in such low concentrations as not to be an environmental hazard.

China’s agriculture ministry announced that recent snow and rain in the country’s northern wheat-growing regions helped to ease the crippling drought, which has sparked fears of rising global food prices.

China has plans to spend $2.5 billion to combat the drought in efforts that include diverting water to affected areas and constructing emergency wells and irrigation facilities.

Photo: People's Liberation Army