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  • - [Narrator] Humans have gotten really good

  • at predicting the weather, but we've had a hard time

  • figuring out how to control it.

  • Now, with the threat of rising global temperatures

  • and severe droughts, scientists are racing to develop

  • technologies that will actually change the weather.

  • Scientists are literally making it rain.

  • Cloud seeding is the process of adding particles

  • to clouds to force them to rain or snow.

  • It has already been tested around the globe.

  • The goal is to increase precipitation

  • in places with water shortages.

  • Cloud seeding is a form of geo-engineering

  • or manipulating of weather systems

  • to reduce the negative effects of climate change.

  • Here's how it works.

  • Silver iodide gets sprinkled into clouds

  • by airplanes or blasted up into clouds on rockets.

  • Another possible technique that China is exploring

  • is using winds to naturally transport

  • the silver iodide into the clouds.

  • Silver iodide has a very similar structure to ice,

  • so the ice crystals in clouds will bond to it,

  • making the cloud increasingly heavy

  • until it releases its moisture as rain or snow.

  • And so far, preliminary tests look promising.

  • For example, cloud seeding tests in Wyoming,

  • where snowpack is a primary source of water,

  • reportedly increased snowfall in the area by 5 to 15%.

  • But cloud seeding can be used

  • for more than just curing droughts.

  • The European company called Oliver's Travels

  • offers cloudbursting services

  • to prevent rain on your wedding day.

  • And China used cloud seeding during

  • the Beijing Olympics to make sure clouds

  • released precipitation before reaching the capital.

  • Some of these tests seem to be working,

  • but there's no telling what the consequences

  • could be if we start toying

  • with Mother Nature on such a level.

  • One clear down side is that if we force it to rain

  • in one region, those clouds won't have water left

  • to drop in other areas that may also need it.

  • Scientist aren't just adding substances

  • to clouds, they're also creating clouds.

  • The process is called stratospheric aerosol injection.

  • The goal is to prevent too much sunlight from entering

  • the atmosphere by reflecting it back into space.

  • With less sunlight reaching the Earth,

  • the temperature would theoretically drop

  • and hopefully reduce global warming and its effects.

  • This already happens naturally.

  • When volcanoes erupt, they shoot thick,

  • sulfurous clouds into the air that block

  • the Sun's rays and cool the planet.

  • Scientists at Harvard University

  • are researching the possibility of creating

  • a similar effect without the volcano.

  • First, they plan to use balloons to create

  • normal clouds out of ice particles.

  • Then, once they've perfected that method,

  • they hope to move on to chemicals

  • that can block even more light.

  • The chemicals released in a volcanic explosion,

  • called sulfate aerosols, would probably

  • work the best, but they can damage the ozone layer.

  • So Harvard Scientists are looking into

  • other chemicals that might do the job

  • without risking ozone damage.

  • But it will be a while before we know

  • how this would work on a large scale

  • and if there are any side effects.

  • So until more research is done,

  • it's hard to tell if the benefits outweigh the risks.

  • Needless to say, controlling the weather

  • is complicated, but there are other technologies

  • in development that could help battle

  • the extreme effects of climate change.

  • Several companies have come up with ways

  • to convert fog to drinking water in areas

  • with severe droughts, and it's already

  • being used in places like California, Morocco, and Chile.

  • But the best way for us to control

  • the weather is to cut emissions now.

  • For decades, researchers have explored ways to remove

  • carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and store it

  • somewhere else, like deep in the ocean or inside bedrock.

  • Some researchers are even trying to turn it into

  • building materials like concrete and bricks.

  • But if we continue to fill the air with greenhouse gases

  • at the rate we are now, ultimately there will be

  • too much for us to bury or sink.

  • Reducing emissions would help eliminate

  • the need for all of these technologies in the first place,

  • and then we wouldn't need to worry

  • about controlling the weather.

  • But let's face it, there are some days

  • where it would be really convenient.

  • (thunder rolling)

- [Narrator] Humans have gotten really good

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B1 中級

100年後の天気をどうコントロールするか (How We'll Control The Weather In 100 Years)

  • 35 2
    Seraya に公開 2021 年 01 月 14 日
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