Pakistan has implemented artificial rain as a method to combat hazardous smog for the first time.
The provincial government announced that Pakistan implemented artificial rain on Saturday in Lahore, the megacity, as a measure to address dangerous levels of smog.
During the initial trial in a South Asian nation, aircrafts fitted with cloud seeding technology were deployed over 10 locations in the city, which is known to be one of the most polluted areas in the world.
According to Mohsin Naqvi, the caretaker chief minister of Punjab, the United Arab Emirates gave the “gift.”
“According to the speaker, teams from the United Arab Emirates, along with two aircrafts, arrived approximately 10-12 days ago. They utilized 48 flares in order to produce the rainfall,” he stated to the press.
He mentioned that the team would be informed of the impact of the “artificial rain” by Saturday night.
The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has been employing cloud seeding, also known as artificial rain or “blueskying,” to produce precipitation in the dry landscape of the nation.
Weather modification is the process of releasing common salt or a combination of various salts into clouds.
The crystals promote the formation of rain through condensation.
This technology has been implemented in numerous countries such as the United States, China, and India.
According to experts, even light rain can effectively reduce pollution levels.
In the past few years, air pollution in Pakistan has become more severe due to a combination of poor quality diesel emissions, burning of crops during certain seasons, and colder winter weather leading to stagnant smog.
During the winter season, the city of Lahore is heavily affected by toxic smog, causing respiratory issues for its population of over 11 million residents.
The PM2.5 pollution levels, which are tiny particles that can cause cancer by entering the bloodstream through the lungs, were found to be extremely high in Lahore on Saturday, exceeding the World Health Organization’s safety limits by over 66 times.
Inhaling toxic air can have severe effects on one’s health.
According to the WHO, extended periods of exposure can lead to strokes, heart disease, lung cancer, and respiratory diseases.
Previous administrations have employed different strategies to decrease air pollution in Lahore, such as wetting down roads and implementing weekend closures of educational institutions, industrial facilities, and commercial areas, but with limited or ineffective results.
When asked about a long-term strategy to combat smog, the chief minister said the government needs studies to formulate a plan.