(note: This is from an HTML file, originally from a Power Point presentation and has been lightly edited for readability)
NINTH WMO SCIENTIFIC CONFERENCE on WEATHER MODIFICATION
(Antalya, Turkey, 22- 24 October 2007)
SESSION 2: GENERAL ASPECTS
An outline of recent WMO activities in Weather Modification
Météo-France, 42, avenue Coriolis, 31057 Toulouse, France
[The] WMO’s (World Meteorological Organization's) main role [is] to provide world leadership in expertise and international cooperation in weather, climate, hydrology, water resources and related environmental issues.
[The] AREP (Atmospheric Research and Environment Programme) department coordinates and stimulates research on the composition of the atmosphere and weather forecasting, focusing on extreme weather events and socio-economic impacts, under programmatic guidance from CAS.
[The] CAS (Commission for Atmospheric Sciences) is composed of: GAW (the Global Atmosphere Watch programme) and WWRP (the World Weather Research Programme) including THORPEX (The Observing System Research and Predictability Experiment).
The WMO Scientific Conferences on Weather modification
1st Conf in Tashkent, USSR (1973): 58 papers
6th Conf in Paestum, Italy (1994): 186 papers
9th Conf to be held in Antalya (2007): about 100 papers
On average, from the papers:
- 50% of concerned PE (precipitation enhancement) activities;
- 29% on HS (hail suppression);
- 5% on FD (fog dissipation);
- about 16% on the development of methods and techniques;
- only a few papers on IWM (inadvertent weather modification).
No scientific review of the papers [is] published in the Preprints to allow worldwide presentation of projects, [so] the papers only represent the opinions of their authors.
The WMO “Registers of national weather modification projects” [helps]
to obtain a picture of the worldwide activities in weather modification,
Since 1984, an average of 24 answers/year to register a mean of 68 projects/year;
-About 61% related to PE (precipitation enhancement) or P (precipitation) redistribution,
-35% were related to HS (hail suppression), and 4% with FD (fog dissipation).
But the exact numbers of WM projects are certainly much higher. Independent inventories have estimated the number of operational projects to be in the order of 200.
Worldwide activities in WM
It is interesting to note that most of the projects were considered by their organisers to be operational, and included insufficient tools to allow a correct evaluation and a better understanding of the seeding impacts.
Some of the past operations resulted in positive signals while others obtained nil or even negative results.
Apart from the dissipation of supercooled fogs or shallow clouds, the only evidence we have obtained so far is the fact that the impacts usually stay within the natural variability of the phenomena to be modified and that the evaluation of a weather modification project is long, difficult and expensive.
The evaluation could however be shortened and simplified if the complex processes that are implied after an artificial seeding were better understood.
Too many projects taking place in the world are designed neither to improve scientific understanding nor to correctly evaluate the consequences of artificial cloud seeding.
WMO should continue to inform its Members on the state of the arts in weather modification techniques and to help them in developing adapted design, research tools and evaluation methods.
Links were tightened up with other groups and in particular with:
- The International Commission on Cloud and Precipitation (ICCP) in which one of the WG on PCCWMR (Executive Council Panel of Experts on Physics and Chemistry of Clouds and Weather Modification Research) members was elected as President;
- The International Association of Meteorology and Atmospheric Sciences (IAMAS) from which a representative was participating in the WG on PCCWMR’s (Physics and Chemistry of Clouds and Weather Modification Research) activities;
- The International Aerosol–Precipitation Science Assessment Group, IAPSAG, created to review current scientific understanding of the effects of natural and anthropogenic aerosols on precipitation and in which one of the WG on PCCWMR (Physics and Chemistry of Clouds and Weather Modification Research) members was acting as Chairman.
Summary and recommendations to WMO:
- Pursue close cooperation with IAPSAG (The International Aerosol–Precipitation Science Assessment Group), ICCP (The International Commission on Cloud and Precipitation) and IAMAS (The International Association of Meteorology and Atmospheric Sciences);
- Favour the organization of studies related to the cloud behavior and its reaction to various type of seeding (diffusion and transport of seeding material, interactions between cloud dynamics and microphysics, transferability of results, etc.);
- Favour further studies into the clearing of warm fogs;
- Favour the development of research programmes to better understand hailstorm physics and seeding efficiency;
- Favour further effort in the study of cloud-aerosol interactions, the distribution and characteristics of aerosols, and the impact of biomass burning and pollution on precipitation processes;
- Favour the improvement of cloud and aerosol parameterisation in numerical models;
- Favour the use of the most recent techniques and methods for improving the seeding evaluation methods and our understanding of the cloud processes involved in WM.
Weather modification can now gain significantly by incorporating the latest, exciting advances in instrumentation, numerical models and statistical techniques into the design and execution of field programmes; (image left from Geosciences models)
- Organize workshops and training programmes to help countries to develop their activities in the area of the PCCWMR (Physics and Chemistry of Clouds and Weather Modification Research) with an utmost priority in the areas of Cloud microphysics, Meteorological instruments and measurements, Data analysis, Statistics, and evaluation methods;
- Favour and encourage the training of young scientists in disciplines relevant to WM;
- Organise the WMO Scientific Conferences on WM with a strong emphasis on the scientific aspects and include several invited lecturers;
- Organise training workshops jointly with the WMO Conferences on WM, to provide those entering the field of weather modification a broad introduction across the breadth of the subject.
- Provide future support and assistance to international conferences and workshops that are making positive contributions to the PCCWMR (Physics and Chemistry of Clouds and Weather Modification Research) activities (in particular: Conference on fog, fog collection and dew, WMO Cloud modelling workshop, International Conference on Cloud and Precipitation);
- Support the efforts to finalize the updated version of the WMO Precipitation Enhancement Project (PEP) Report No. 3;
- Establish of a task force to review the criteria for assessing the success of WM experiments and to redefine them;
- Include the reduction of icing on crops and vegetation in the items to be surveyed by the WG.
Evolution of [the] CAS organisation and on the role of the Expert teams
In 2006, [the] CAS (Commission for Atmospheric Sciences) structure was reorganised and the role of the expertise on the physics and chemistry of clouds was enlarged to cover more domains than the only weather modification research, while an Expert team was entrusted with the expertise on weather modification.
The ToR (terms of reference) for the Expert Team
(a) To keep under review relevant research, advise CAS (Commission for Atmospheric Sciences) on issues requiring attention related to WM and suggest mechanisms for addressing such issues;
(b) To review the criteria for conducting WM research to ensure the quality of the science, from the initial design to the final evaluation of field experiments, taking into account advances in supporting fields including cloud physics, atmospheric chemistry, numerical modelling, and societal and economic applications;
(c) To serve as a focal point and provide advice and assistance to Members on the manner and means of transferring competence for planning scientific experiments;
(d) To assist in the drafting of WMO documents on the status of WM and guidelines for providing advice to Members and propose revisions to these documents where necessary.
(image below from thinkzone.wlonk.com)