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Weather Modification

Social And Ethical Issues

The use of weather modification techniques is often surrounded by controversy. An increase of precipitation over an area might be of benefit to some individuals in the area, but a disadvantage to others. For example, suppose that the owner of a private ski resort wants to have clouds seeded in order to increase snowfall over his or her property. If that effort is successful, the ski area benefits, economically. But other individuals and businesses in the area might suffer from this change in the weather. As an example, the county or state might have to pay more to keep roads and highways clear of the additional snow.

See also Tropical cyclone.



Danielson, Eric W., James Levin, and Elliot Abrams. Meteorology. 2nd ed. with CD-ROM. Columbus: McGraw-Hill Science/Engineering/Math, 2002.

Fleagle, R.G., et al. Weather Modification in the Public Interest. Seattle: University of Washington Press, 1974.

Lutgens, Frederick K., Edward J. Tarbuck, and Dennis Tasa. The Atmosphere: An Intorduction to Meteorology. 8th ed. New York: Prentice-Hall, 2000.

Newton, David E. Science and Social Issues. Portland: J. Weston Walch, Publishers, 1992.

David E. Newton


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—A large mass of condensed moisture consisting of water droplets and/or ice crystals.

Cloud seeding

—The introduction of particles of (usually) dry ice or silver iodide with the hope of increasing precipitation from the cloud.

Dry ice

—Solid carbon dioxide.


—A cloud whose base lies at or near the earth's surface.


—A form of precipitation consisting of relatively large masses of ice.


—Any form of solid or liquid water that reaches the ground from the atmosphere.


—Water than exists in a liquid state at temperatures below 32°F (0°C).

Additional topics

Science EncyclopediaScience & Philosophy: Verbena Family (Verbenaceae) - Tropical Hardwoods In The Verbena Family to WelfarismWeather Modification - Cloud Seeding, Methods Of Cloud Seeding, Effectiveness Of Cloud Seeding, Fog And Cloud Dispersal - Wartime applications