CYPRUS – FAMAGUSTA GAZETTE•Friday, 19 February, 2016
Cloud seeding, a form of weather modification, is the attempt to change the amount or type of precipitation that falls from clouds, by dispersing substances into the air that serve as cloud condensation or ice nuclei, which alter the microphysical processes within the cloud. The usual intent is to increase precipitation (rain or snow), but hail and fog suppression are also widely practiced in airports
Particles such as silver oxide are sprayed onto clouds to increase precipitation – is commonly used by drought-prone countries, and was part of the Chinese government’s efforts to reduce pollution ahead of the Beijing Olympics in 2008. Other proponents of the “chem-trails” theory say it is an attempt to control global warming, while some cite far more sinister goals, such as population control and military weapons testing.
Cloud seeding also occurs due to ice nucleators in nature, most of which are bacterial in origin
Cloud seeding can be done by ground generators, plane, or rocket
The most common chemicals used for cloud seeding include silver iodide, potassium iodide and dry ice (solid carbon dioxide). Liquid propane, which expands into a gas, has also been used. This can produce ice crystals at higher temperatures than silver iodide. After promising research, the use of hygroscopic materials, such as table salt, is becoming more popular. Cloud seeding to increase snowfall takes place when temperatures within the clouds are between 19 and −4 °F (−7 and −20 °C). Introduction of a substance such as silver iodide, which has a crystalline structure similar to that of ice, will induce freezing nucleation.
This image explaining cloud seeding shows the chemical either silver iodide or dry ice being dumped onto the cloud, which then becomes a rain shower. The process shown in the upper-right is what is happening in the cloud and the process of condensation to the introduced chemicals
Traditional weather watchers who observe cloud formations early in August make predictions for the next 12 months which prove remarkably accurate in most cases.
But this year, all of them failed in their predictions for February. Instead of rain, there has been unusually dry and hot weather with temperatures about 10 degrees Celsius above the median temperature for the month.
“I cannot understand what is happening. The weather conditions are all contrary to all observations which proved accurate in the past. Something strange is happening,” one of those who predicted ample rain for February told a state radio magazine program.
The country’s usually very accurate meteorological department also failed in many of its forecasts. The rain they predicted failed to come or was very scant.
Aristodemos Aristodemou, a scientist with a doctorate degree, told state radio his curiosity was raised when he saw small aircraft crisscrossing the sky off the western-most tip of Cyprus, which is closest to the Aegean Greek islands.
He said he started watching the cloud building on the horizon and noticed that though they were clearly black rain clouds, they seldom made it to the shores of Cyprus and over the mountains.
“They shortly turned into white cloud and disappeared,” he said.
He added that he systematically watched weather forecasts on the Greek state television predicting rain in Cyprus 24 hours after rainy weather in Greece and its islands but the rain never came.
“I started photographing the cloud and posting pictures on Facebook,” he said.
The issue reached parliament, where leaders of agricultural organizations demanded an inquiry into the issue.
The minister of agriculture complied with the demand and asked the ministry of foreign affairs to request official information from the authorities of the British military bases.
Agricultural organizations, environmentalists, and people living close to the RAF base at Akrotiri village claimed they had seen aircraft engage in air spraying.
“On the face of it, but without any corroboration yet, it emerges that such actions could change the climate of the region as they may change the earth’s atmosphere, or chemical substances freed in the air could potentially change the ability of the atmosphere to perform specific factions, e.g. produce rain,” said Kouyialis in a written statement to the agriculture parliamentary committee.
The authorities of the British bases have maintained they are not engaged in any activity of the kind described at the session of the parliamentary agricultural committee.
Akrotiri RAF base, which hosts planes currently operating against the Islamic State in the Middle East, is also the site of a powerful radar, coupled to the world-wide NATO information collecting apparatus.
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