Scientific support for cloud seeding sought | VailDaily.com

Scientific support for cloud seeding sought

Allen Best

CRESTED BUTTE – Having spent hundreds of thousands of dollars during the last several years on cloud-seeding, officials with various agencies in the Gunnison-Crested Butte area are starting to ask for good scientific proof that cloud-seeding works.To that end, a member of the board of directors for a water conservancy district there recently suggested that scientists at the Rocky Mountain Biological Laboratory, which is located near Crested Butte at the old mining town of Gothic, be enlisted to look for silver iodide in snow. Silver iodide is the most commonly used nuclei put into the atmosphere in an attempt to induce snowfall.Alas, scientists at the lab say that they don’t have the equipment to do this, and even if they did the presence of silver iodide would not necessarily prove that cloud seeding has increased snowfall.Indeed, the scientific evidence is slim that cloud-seeding is effective, noted Salida-based Colorado Central magazine last year. A national report issued a year ago concluded that evidence for summer cloud-seeding is marginal, at best. Much better evidence exists for the effectiveness of seeding clouds to induce snow. Most of that evidence, however, comes from a series of experiments conducted near Leadville in the late 1960s and early 1970s. Those federally funded experiments had control groups, whereas most “evidence” collected since then has been gathered from cloud-seeding operations that lack control groups. Atmospheric scientists are lobbying for broader, watershed-scale research into the effectiveness of winter cloud-seeding.Province wants Olympics to lastGOLDEN, B.C. – British Columbia Premier Gordon Campbell was in Golden recently to help outline support for the 2010 LegaciesNow, which is portrayed as a way for the hinterlands of British Columbia to maximize benefits from the Olympics scheduled for Vancouver and Whistler in 2010.The 2010 LegaciesNow program is responsible for working with the Spirit of BC Community Committees, keeping them up-to-date and assisting them in exploring Olympic and non-Olympic opportunities for their communities in the areas of sport, culture, and tourism, as well as other endeavors, explains the Golden Star.Vail, Colorado