You might be surprised…
As an island nation, you can be anywhere in the UK and not be more than just over 70 miles from the coast (Grid Reference SK 257144 if it really matters to you.) We’re surrounded by water – fact! Recent months though, have had us not just surrounded by, but dealing with water inland and on land. Whilst our sympathy has been with all those who have and are still suffering, we know you can’t control the weather – or can we?
Changes to the weather
The Jet Stream
The main culprit in our ever more unpredictable weather, with longer, wetter winters, is the Jet Stream. In simple terms hot air meets cold air over or around the UK. Travelling between 11 and 17 km above the earth, somewhere in the lower part of the atmosphere and at about 100 mph, there are two main jets – the polar jet and the sub-tropical jet. The direction and angle of the jet stream determines the type of weather we get over the UK. It’s affected by land mass and the influences of landmasses which interrupt the flow through friction and difference in temperature. As we said, in simple terms… and something we can’t control… or is it?
Apparently back in the 1980s and the days of Soviet Russia, cloud seeding was used to ensure that important state holidays remained dry and to reduce snowfall. Flares containing silver iodide, a salt or dry ice pellets can be dispensed through combustion from a plane into clouds to induce rain ‘to order’ ensuring that it was dispensed with before important events. It’s still used today in the United Arab Emirates, America and no doubt many other countries. Discovered by General Electric (GE) labs in Schenectady, New York in 1946, it has been used since by agricultural organisations for crop irrigation with interest from hydroelectric utility companies for enhanced stream flow. Weather modification…
That’s High Frequency Active Auroral Research to you and me and was a project funded by the US Airforce through the Defence Advanced Research Project and the University of Alaska. Its purpose was to determine how the ionosphere (upper layer of the atmosphere) affected radio signals using fire pulsed, directed energy beams to temporarily ‘excite a limited area of the ionosphere.’
HAARP was seemingly developed as part of an Anglo-American partnership that included British Aerospace Systems (BAES). A great deal of speculation over the years has suggested that this programme was intended for the development of electromagnetic weapons – capable of blasting enemy missiles out of the sky, destroying electronic systems in seconds and all manner of other unpleasant warfare defences. Other claims suggest that HAARP could be used for weather modification that could cause tsunamis and earthquakes which again, could be used as weapons of warfare. We understand that as of last year this programme was closed down.
Going back to the ever present theme of climate change, Geoengineering around the world has come up with some fairly interesting ideas to reduce carbon in the atmosphere which links, somewhat tenuously, with all things weather as they would almost certainly alter weather patterns. These are some of our favourites…
- Reflective roofs and pavements to lower the earth’s temperature
- Algae Units on buildings acting as photo bioreactors to remove carbon from the air
- A space sunshade filtering the amount of sunlight reaching the earth
- Millions of small mirrors launched into space to reflect sunlight away from the earth
- A giant mirror on the moon reflecting sunlight from space
- Artificial trees to capture carbon
And what to do with the captured carbon… store it underground in unused oil wells because we’ll have a lot of them one day!