(note: This is part 3 of our new series. For all 5 episodes, click Obasi Statement link)
STATEMENT AT THE ITALIAN SENATE HEARING ON WEATHER MODIFICATION WMO’s ACTIVITIES ON WEATHER MODIFICATION — COOPERATION WITH ITALY
by Professor G.O.P. Obasi Secretary-General World Meteorological Organization
(Rome, Palazzo Giustiniani, 22 June 1999)
Honourable Senators and Members of Parliament, Distinguished participants
In the last ten years or so, more than 50 countries have expressed their interest in weather modification activities and on the average, each year, in various parts of the world there are between 40 and 70 active weather modification projects reported.
Many of these projects are of long duration; some are longer than four or five years and several, such as those in Israel and the Russian Federation, have been continued for more than 20 years.
Considering the foregoing, WMO has itself, in its ongoing weather modification programme, contributed to the advancement of scientific knowledge concerning weather modification.
Not the least of these contributions was the WMO Precipitation Enhancement Project or PEP, as it was commonly called.
The Project was carried out between 1976 and 1983 and was approved by Seventh Congress that I have alluded to previously. PEP was a WMO (World Meteorological Organization) coordinated scientific field weather modification experiment where WMO took the lead in the planning, execution and evaluation of the experiment to provide Members with hard scientific facts about the probabilities of successful artificial intervention in meteorological processes.
PEP was conducted in the north-western part of Spain in the Duero River basin. (image right of Portugal's side of Duero River basin area, from microarraysmais.realvitur.pt)
The Spanish site was selected from 16 which were proposed, and was based on logistics, potential contributions from WMO Members and the climatology and physics of the precipitation-bearing systems in the area.
No cloud seeding activity took place. Synoptic through cloud microscale data were collected and analysed.
This work led to the development of a number of new techniques to estimate the potential for precipitation but ultimately, financial circumstances precluded the necessary research orientated field work and PEP was concluded in 1983.
Nevertheless, PEP provided a path towards scientifically planned and executed weather modification projects. PEP was well documented with 34 separate reports published concerning various aspects of its development. Since then, PEP has been used as a model for other projects.