Experts discuss man-made rain for Mekong Delta
VietNamNet Bridge - The Mekong River Delta, Vietnam's biggest rice granary, is facing the most serious drought in the last 100 years. Can scientists make artificial rain to rescue the rice fields? 

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Scientists said El Nino would last until the end of the first half of 2016.



Vietnam began thinking of man-made rain in 1998, when the Institute of Meteorology, Hydrology and Climate Change conducted research on the matter and proposed to carry out an experiment. However, it was not implemented.

In 2002, the institute was assigned by the Ministry of Natural Resources and the Environment (MONRE) to carry out a project to make rain. At that time, scientists hoped that artificial rain could be made by 2010 which would serve socio-economic development in northern provinces.

Explaining why the man-made rain projects were not implemented, MONRE said it would be very costly because this requires advanced technology and the participation of many ministries and branches, while the efficiency of the projects is not ensured.

Meanwhile, international scientists pointed out that man-made rain is one of the best solutions that help countries mitigate the drought for areas dried up by sun and heat. 

The effects to be brought by man-made rains could be 10-20 times higher than the cost. This can be seen in many countries which successfully make artificial rain such as Russia, the US, India, Japan, China, Thailand and Malaysia.

In Vietnam, in late 1959, with Chinese assistance, Vietnam carried out an experiment to create rain by spraying influential substances from helicopters on the sky in Hai Duong and Hung Yen provinces.

Scientists many times discussed man-made rain, but it will still need further research to be able to generate rain.

The experiment then created rain, but the result was not examined and reported.

Tran Hong Thai, deputy director of the National Hydrometeorology Center, said scientists many times discussed man-made rain, but it will still need further research to be able to generate rain.

He said many things are needed to generate rain, including humidity, cloud and technology. “It is necessary to conduct surveys on drought-stricken areas and think about if man-made rain is the only solution,” he said.

According to Vu Thanh Ca General Department of Vietnam Sea and Islands, making rain is the process of having intensive impacts on clouds to stimulate rain. The substances used in the process are liquid nitrogen, salt and liquid carbon dioxide. 

However, technical problems exist. In dry season, there are not many masses of clouds that contain necessary factors to generate rain.

Scientists said El Nino would last until the end of the first half of 2016. As the rainy season comes late, the drought will be more serious than previous years.


Thien Nhien

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