SUWON, Dec. 15 (Korea Bizwire) – Despite raising the prospect of conducting cloud seeding experiments to create artificial rain more than a year ago, Gyeonggi Province has not carried out a single test and will most likely close out the year without making good on its word.
According to the provincial office on December 15, an announcement was made last September that South Korea’s most populous province would arrange an MOU with the weather authority (KMA) to generate artificial rain as a potential means of washing away fine dust air pollution.
Since then, statements by the Gyeonggi office have progressively indicated a shifting stance on the proposal. In February, an update said, “The first artificial rain experiment will happen in May at the earliest or October at the latest. One way or another, the plan is to conduct three trials in the Yellow Sea region this year.”
By the time early summer had arrived, the provincial government’s position had changed altogether. A statement released in May said, “Should the KMA hold artificial rain experiments this year, Gyeonggi Province will assess their impact on lowering fine dust particle levels in the atmosphere and petition the Ministry of Environment and other relevant departments for sustained artificial rain programs.”
As to why the plan for conducting three trials was dropped, financial and technical difficulties were listed as reasons for the departure from the previous agenda.
With that being said, there was little movement on that front until October, when the KMA and Gyeonggi agreed to an MOU for two or three experiments over Hwaseong and Anseong, Pyeongtaek and Osan during the last two months of the year.
The agreement stipulated that the experiments were to be carried out by a subdivision of the KMA, while a task force within Gyeonggi Research Institute would handle the data analysis.
Despite this arrangement, there appears to be little to no progress that is being made, as the Gyeonggi task force is completely in the dark as to when the experiments are to be carried, or whether they are even being carried out at all.
A member of the task force revealed that the team had “heard nothing solid from the National Institute of Meteorological Sciences regarding the experiments”.
Meanwhile, the team actually carrying out the experiments explained that though artificial rain exercises were being held, the dates on which these activities were being held were not shared with their MOU counterparts. A spokesperson said, “These experiments are not being done for Gyeonggi Province, therefore we do not believe it is absolutely necessary to continuously inform them of our schedule.”
With the end of the year but a couple of weeks away, the provincial government’s new year’s resolution may be to keep mum regarding plans they can’t keep.
Kevin Lee (firstname.lastname@example.org)