UK - Will We Ever Be Able to Control the Weather?

Arno Froese

As last year’s devastating Atlantic hurricanes demonstrated, we are at the mercy of the weather. Could we ever manipulate it from space?

The idea of tweaking the weather from afar is not as far-fetched as it sounds. As BBC Future reported in 2014, scientists have been on the case for years, albeit using planes rather than satellites. From 1962 to 1983, the American government ran Project Stormfury, which was an attempt to weaken tropical storms by flying aircraft into a storm and seeding it with silver iodide.

Silver iodide is an inorganic compound used as an antiseptic. The theory was that the silver iodide would cause the supercooled water in the storm to freeze, thereby disrupting the internal structure of the hurricane.

However, it has since been discovered that storms do not contain sufficient supercooled water for cloud seeding to be effective. There was also the problem of scale. “The problem was that the small planes and macro-scale of the storms meant any attempts would be negligible,” says Chris Bell, a lecturer in meteorology at the University of East Anglia in the UK.

Lasers are also being considered as a form of weather control, through laser inversion—the technique of using lasers to cool things down rather than heat them up. The process forms clouds and can even trigger lightning. “This is a new method based on ultra-fast, ultra-short laser pulses, which generate intense lasers that are low-energy as the pulse is very short,” says Jean-Pierre Wolf of the University of Geneva. This creates a spark in the atmosphere, which causes a shock that expels water droplets out of the way.

Unfortunately, having satellites control the weather presents additional problems.

Not only would the satellites need technology onboard to monitor the weather and position themselves in orbit, they would also need to have more equipment to manipulate it, thus massively increasing their payload. “Bringing this kind of equipment onto a satellite always means huge effort in order to have the mass itself transported into space, and ensuring the performance and reliability is not easy,” says Andreas Lindenthal, chief operating officer of OHB Systems AG and sci-fi enthusiast since his childhood.

For now, controlling the weather remains unlikely—too costly and resource-hungry to make practical. “People are putting research into very efficient lasers that can be put into orbit,” says Lindenthal. “For me, itis only a matter of time.”

“We may, one day, have the technology to control the weather,” adds Bell, “but it will be in thousands, not hundreds, of years.”, 22 January 2018

Arno's commentary

Mankind does not cease in his attempt to play God. Will they be successful? To some degree, maybe. What we do know is what the Bible says: “While the earth remaineth, seedtime and harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease” (Genesis 8:22). And the prophet Isaiah confirms: “For this is as the waters of Noah unto me: for as I have sworn that the waters of Noah should no more go over the earth; so have I sworn that I would not be wroth with thee, nor rebuke thee” (Isaiah 54:9).

Arno Froese is the executive director of Midnight Call Ministries and editor-in-chief of the acclaimed prophetic magazines Midnight Call and News From Israel. He has authored a number of well-received books, and has sponsored many prophecy conferences in the U.S., Canada, and Israel. His extensive travels have contributed to his keen insight into Bible prophecy, as he sees it from an international perspective.

Read more from this author

ContactAbout UsPrivacy and Safety