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Geoengineering a Snow-Free Winter Fails In Moscow

timothy posted more than 4 years ago | from the anthropogenic-warming-is-hard dept.

Earth 202

dinoyum writes "Moscow Mayor Yury Luzhkov's promise of a winter without snow in the capital city has fallen short. While cloud seeding is not a new concept for Russia, often used on major holidays, geoengineering snow has never been done to that magnitude. Carrying off the $6 million procedure required jets to spray silver iodide into coming clouds, ensuring that all precipitation fell before it reached the capital. However a combination of disrupted radar, wind control, and faulty weathermen have been blamed by Luzhkov for his failed attempt at playing with mother nature. For now, Russia can go back to enjoying snow."

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202 comments

The first time... (0, Redundant)

natehoy (1608657) | more than 4 years ago | (#30599338)

The first time this meme has ever made sense!

In (former) Soviet Moscow, Snow come to YOU.

Re:The first time... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30600146)

How does that make any sense? You're implying that in other parts of the world, YOU come to snow... wha?

Re:The first time... (1)

deathlyslow (514135) | more than 4 years ago | (#30600520)

Sure, it happens all the time. The south west US deserts come to minds as well as the folks from Florida going to Aspen, Vail, etc.

Snow falls in Russia - Film at 11 (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30599350)

We are the goverment we control everything. Ignore the man behind the curtain. We are in control.

Re:Snow falls in Russia - Film at 11 (3, Funny)

isama (1537121) | more than 4 years ago | (#30599798)

In Kapitalist russia YOU control snow,
In Communist Russia Snow controls YOU!

yet again a failed promise made by a politician, does it ever CHANGE?

"Faulty weathermen" is a bit redundant (3, Insightful)

ShaunC (203807) | more than 4 years ago | (#30599396)

I didn't think they came in any other variety.

Re:"Faulty weathermen" is a bit redundant (0, Redundant)

oodaloop (1229816) | more than 4 years ago | (#30599432)

That's because you don't understand Chaos theory, and that weather is inherently unpredictable.

Re:"Faulty weathermen" is a bit redundant (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30599564)

Their job is to predict the weather. They typically fail miserably. Hence faulty. Whether (tee hee, no pun intended) or not their job is inherently flawed is another matter entirely.

Re:"Faulty weathermen" is a bit redundant (3, Insightful)

siride (974284) | more than 4 years ago | (#30599866)

They typically do really well, actually. People just remember the abject failures and overgeneralize.

Re:"Faulty weathermen" is a bit redundant (3, Funny)

aliquis (678370) | more than 4 years ago | (#30600660)

They typically do really well, actually. People just remember the abject failures and overgeneralize

That's what I've been telling the ladies.

(No, just kidding, virgin in reality.)

Re:"Faulty weathermen" is a bit redundant (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30600784)

+1 funny, had I mod points. I lol.

Huh (3, Interesting)

nametaken (610866) | more than 4 years ago | (#30599398)

Given what it costs to deal with snow in a major city each year, $6 million sounds like money very well spent. Now if only someone would get the dome cities idea back on the table...

Re:Huh (1)

godrik (1287354) | more than 4 years ago | (#30599488)

I was wondering if we have accurate estimation of the cost of snow in large cities.

Re:Huh (3, Informative)

xutopia (469129) | more than 4 years ago | (#30599516)

Montreal claims ~30000$CAD per kilometer of street. http://www.radio-canada.ca/regions/Montreal/2009/12/21/003-Deneigement-Outremont-Plateau.shtml?ref=rss [radio-canada.ca]

Re:Huh (1)

godrik (1287354) | more than 4 years ago | (#30599676)

so the cost would be roughly equivalent to 200km of streets which is quite small for a city like Moscow. And this just consider the cost of removing the snow, not the broken bones to people slipping, car accident, traffic jam...

Re:Huh (2, Informative)

aliquis (678370) | more than 4 years ago | (#30600774)

Over here a city [slashdot.org] with 20.000 inhabitants budgeted 1.12 million USD / year for snow removal so yes, 6 million to clear whole fucking Moscow would be very cheap indeed.

But well, snow lighten things up so when controlled it's not that bad. Cold dark misery with no snow would be even worse.

The article says.... (2, Informative)

Primitive Pete (1703346) | more than 4 years ago | (#30599744)

The article in Time says Moscow usually spends about $12M on removal, twice the $6M cost of seeding for this exercise.

Re:The article says.... (3, Informative)

Talderas (1212466) | more than 4 years ago | (#30599804)

So this year they're spending about $18M on removal.

Re:The article says.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30600360)

Somehow I think they would probably have gotten snow before now without this attempt.

Re:Huh (1)

aliquis (678370) | more than 4 years ago | (#30600736)

I read in a news paper that "Enköping", a small city [wikipedia.org] (or maybe the meant the municipality) with around 20.000 inhabitants here in Sweden at close to the same latitude as Stockholm budgeted 8 million SEK (1.12 million USD) / year for snow control. I can't find the paper but I thought it was quite a small area of roads.

Re:Huh (0)

poetmatt (793785) | more than 4 years ago | (#30599692)

only until you look at the fact that silver iodide is hazardous [wikipedia.org] , and so you're basically turning rain into poison rain.

Re:Huh (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30599772)

Do you understand the concept of varying levels of concentration?

Re:Huh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30599980)

Silver iodide is hazardous? Or is it just homeopathic?!? Hmmmmmmmm?

...

okay, we'll do it your way. :b

Re:Huh (2, Funny)

aliquis (678370) | more than 4 years ago | (#30600794)

Wouldn't homeopathic silver iodide have such low concentrations that there wouldn't actually be any silver iodide at all and therefor safe? :D

Re:Huh (0, Flamebait)

Keep Six (1697340) | more than 4 years ago | (#30600722)

..."Under the guidelines of the Clean Water Act by the EPA, silver iodide is considered a hazardous substance, a priority pollutant, and as a toxic pollutant. Chronic Exposure/Target Organs: Chronic ingestion of iodides may produce "iodism", which may be manifested by skin rash, running nose, headache and irritation of the mucous membranes. Weakness, anemia, loss of weight and general depression may also occur. Chronic inhalation or ingestion may cause argyria characterized by blue-gray discoloration of the eyes, skin and mucous membranes. Chronic skin contact may cause permanent discoloration of the skin." DO NOT WANT!

Re:Huh (5, Funny)

truthsearch (249536) | more than 4 years ago | (#30599780)

Dome cities...

EPA Soldier: I'm afraid we lost them, sir.
Russ Cargill: Damn it! Well, then you find 'em, and you get 'em back in the dome! And to make sure nobody else gets out, I want roving death squads around the perimeter 24-7! I want 10,000 tough guys, and I want 10,000 soft guys to make the tough guys look tougher! And here's how I want them arranged: tough, soft, tough, tough, soft, tough, soft, soft, tough, tough, soft, soft, tough, soft, tough, soft!
EPA Soldier: Sir, I'm afraid you've gone mad with power.
Russ Cargill: Of course I have! Have you ever tried going mad without power? It's boring, no one listens to you!

Re:Huh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30600824)

Given what it costs to deal with snow in a major city each year, $6 million sounds like money very well spent.

You are assuming that cloud seeding actually works. It is far from a proven science. Or that is to say although theoretically possible, getting the cloud dropplets to condense to the "sweet" goldilocks size for percipitation takes a lot more than just crop dusting them with condensation nuclei.

Just because you can sell someone snake oil, doesn't mean it is actually going to do anything.

Pure gold (silver?) for politicians trying to show they are doing something though.

Hmph (1)

InlawBiker (1124825) | more than 4 years ago | (#30599420)

If they want to avoid the snow they should just invade Spain and move there. Of course, their hockey tradition would die pretty quickly.

Re:Hmph (1)

nametaken (610866) | more than 4 years ago | (#30599492)

Spain would be a little bit of a hike for Russia.

Also, I don't think they've figured out how to control the temperature... at least not safely.

Re:Hmph (1)

F0RR (1464631) | more than 4 years ago | (#30599496)

Well, sometimes Luzhkov is just crazy. Like, he wanted to re-conquer Crimea.

Re:Hmph (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30600612)

Context is everything. Crimea is complicated since it was the location of the Soviet Baltic Fleet, and Ukraine and Russia have a long running dispute over ownership of ships, shipyards etc. Also, it is the "spiritual" home of the Imperial Russian navy, which makes it even more important to Russia. Given the strong feelings on both sides of the dispute, Luzhkov's statement is not unusual.

In Soviet Russia (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30599468)

Winter geoengineers YOU!

Moscow without snow? (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30599504)

That would be like Paris without dogshit.

Re:Moscow without snow? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30599752)

Or Utah without... well...

Re:Moscow without snow? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30599816)

Mormons?

Re:Moscow without snow? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30599954)

Morons?

Re:Moscow without snow? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30600056)

Morans?

Re:Moscow without snow? (1, Insightful)

DNS-and-BIND (461968) | more than 4 years ago | (#30600522)

Can we please stop with the constant flow of unreasoning right-wing hatred of the French on slashdot? We get it, surrender monkeys. You don't have to throw it in to totally unrelated discussions about other European nations. Kthx.

Re:Moscow without snow? (3, Insightful)

demonlapin (527802) | more than 4 years ago | (#30600608)

What's right-wing about dissing the French? English-speaking nations have been doing it since AT LEAST 1066.

Re:Moscow without snow? (0, Offtopic)

misexistentialist (1537887) | more than 4 years ago | (#30600746)

Typical French petulance to take insult at a joke that is not particularly derogatory towards France, while weakly labeling it as right-wing!

Re:Moscow without snow? (-1, Troll)

whatajoke (1625715) | more than 4 years ago | (#30600960)

Typical French petulance to take insult at a joke that is not particularly derogatory towards France, while weakly labeling it as right-wing!

Yeah, so unlike the fascists blowing Osama Bin Laden to keep their oil supply flowing over the bodies of 1000s of 9/11 victims.

good job russia? (1, Redundant)

xch13fx (1463819) | more than 4 years ago | (#30599508)

seems weird they would be messing with cold weather precipitation cycles while the rest of the world is up in arms about the effects of global warming...

In soviet Russia we welcome global warming overlords....

3)profit!

Re:good job russia? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30599586)

seems weird they would be messing with cold weather precipitation cycles while the rest of the world is up in arms about the effects of global warming...

Groan. And time for... yet another idiot confusing weather and climate.

Re:good job russia? (0, Troll)

bondsbw (888959) | more than 4 years ago | (#30599782)

Groan. And time for... yet another idiot confusing weather and climate.

You are so right... they have ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to do with each other. In fact, I would bet that every snow storm means that the climate is actually getting much hotter... sort of an inverse relationship. Except for in the summer (of course)... that's just the beginning of a 50,000 year global heat wave caused by cars and incandescent light bulbs.

Every stinkin' year, it gets cold and snows in Russia... will global warming ever end?

Re:good job russia? (1)

R3d M3rcury (871886) | more than 4 years ago | (#30600280)

Climate produces weather. They're not trying to change the climate. They're not even necessarily trying to change the weather--they're not trying to make it not snow. What they're trying to do is make it snow someplace else. And we're talking that someplace else being, say, 30 or 40 miles away.

Re:good job russia? (1)

bondsbw (888959) | more than 4 years ago | (#30600478)

They're not trying to change the climate.

I never said they were. I was merely highlighting the OP's point (what I got from it), which is that global warming is a nice conjecture, but really there's no evidence of it (more precisely, there's no evidence that people are the cause of it).

But let's assume we are the cause... I once looked it up, and 15 cargo ships produce as much greenhouse gas as all the cars in the world combined. There are 90,000 cargo ships in the world that operate all the time. Do the math. Now, ask yourself why politicians care nothing about regulating overseas shipping, but want desperately to milk an extra couple of miles out of your gas tank at a price of hundreds or thousands of dollars to you?

Re:good job russia? (1)

lyml (1200795) | more than 4 years ago | (#30600572)

I once looked it up, and 15 cargo ships produce as much greenhouse gas as all the cars in the world combined. There are 90,000 cargo ships in the world that operate all the time. Do the math.

Lies.

Re:good job russia? (1)

Clandestine_Blaze (1019274) | more than 4 years ago | (#30600374)

Groan. And time for... yet another idiot confusing weather and climate.

You are so right... they have ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to do with each other. In fact, I would bet that every snow storm means that the climate is actually getting much hotter... sort of an inverse relationship. Except for in the summer (of course)... that's just the beginning of a 50,000 year global heat wave caused by cars and incandescent light bulbs.

Every stinkin' year, it gets cold and snows in Russia... will global warming ever end?

Local weather conditions have absolutely nothing to do with global climate trends. Global mean temperatures can go up, but locally, you may be experiencing the coldest day of your life. Snow storms in colder, local regions of the globe are not mutually exclusive to warmer global temperatures.

Re:good job russia? (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 4 years ago | (#30599704)

Worry when they start trying to control tens of thousands of square miles, not a few dozen.

Anonymous Coward (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30599536)

At least Russia doesn't hide the fact that it's spraying Chem Trails... :)

Weather Dominator? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30599566)

Shrinkage on an epic scale!!!

Madness (2, Interesting)

iamacat (583406) | more than 4 years ago | (#30599578)

Russia is reverting to its industry-over-humans ways. Sure road cleaning might cost a bit, but who would to spend 5 months with subfreezing temperatures but no snow (which would accidentally raise temperatures a bit). No snowmen, no snowballs, no sledding, no respite from pollution by covering up the accumulated gunk with white? And in spring city landscaping will suffer from lack of moisture in soil.

Re:Madness (1)

zlogic (892404) | more than 4 years ago | (#30599656)

Yup, I confirm that a snowless winter is much colder. The snow acts as a thermal insulator, so that a -3C without snow feels like -10C with snow.
Also, snow is aesthetically nice, covering up all the dirt and old brown grass etc.

Re:Madness (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30600622)

>Yup, I confirm that a snowless winter is much colder. The snow acts as a thermal insulator, so that a -3C without snow feels like -10C with snow.

-3 is warmer than -10. Or is it backwards day again?

Re:Madness (1)

Lord Ender (156273) | more than 4 years ago | (#30599660)

The people who don't die in car accidents would want to spend 5 months with subfreezing temperatures but no snow, actually.

Re:Madness (3, Insightful)

qoncept (599709) | more than 4 years ago | (#30599694)

Really? A lot of people hate snow and would presumably be more than willing to go without. Myself included. Unfortunately, living in a tiny town just west of a larger city, if this were to ever happen I'd probably be a little unhappy.

Re:Madness (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30599946)

if I ever have an option to select winter with snow or without. I would take the snow. specially on higher latitudes snow provides additional light and does not suck all to darkness like November water rain.

Even if heavy snowfall would mean cleaning driveway one hour at morning and two at night and using double of time to travel to work by bicycle. If you have problems with show, you just do not know how to dress yourself.

(posting as ac because can't type my password on phone keyboard)

Re:Madness (1)

EvilNTUser (573674) | more than 4 years ago | (#30600028)

Traditionally, when someone dislikes something that others like, we prefer to let things be as they naturally are. Your right to swing your fist... face... etc.

This means people who like graffiti don't get to impose it on others' buildings, and likewise people who hate snow don't get to remove it from others. While this is seemingly illogical, since one action adds and the other removes, the point is that clean buildings and snowy winters are the default state.

Even from a practical viewpoint, trying to decide which amoral position is "correct" would just result in endless arguing while we could be doing something more productive.

Plus there's the fact that the rest of the world is trying to fight pollution while these geniuses are regularly spraying chemicals into the air because they think rain is unpleasant. Thanks guys!

Re:Madness (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 4 years ago | (#30600858)

Plus there's the fact that the rest of the world is trying to fight pollution while these geniuses are regularly spraying chemicals into the air because they think rain is unpleasant. Thanks guys!

You mean the rest of the world like the USA, where cloud seeding is completely and totally unregulated, and it's not even illegal to do it over someone else's land? And where it proceeds in great volume in spite of there being no evidence that it actually works on the kind of scale usually employed by private contractors working for farmers...

Re:Madness (1)

Trent Hawkins (1093109) | more than 4 years ago | (#30599774)

well, most people have to do just that. In big cities you don't see any of those things, instead you get sludge, traffic and giant mountains of black/brown snow. If you wanted to go tobogganing you'd have to find a skiing facility, everything else is just plain unusable.

Re:Madness (1)

snowraver1 (1052510) | more than 4 years ago | (#30600218)

Whoah there... Tobogganing at a skiing facility? I have never seen this. Are there actually places that you can ski/toboggan on the same hill? Can you take the toboggan up the lift? Ever since I was little, I have liked toboganning, but hate walking up steep hills in the winter... This could change everything.

About the brown/black snow... Yes, snow that has been removed from streets is gross and should be left alone, but once you leave the sides of the road, even by 5 feet, the snow is nice and white again. Personally, I love snow. I have a good foot covering my backyard, and that is much better than brown grass and dead (hibernating) plants. Plus when it melts the snow slowly seeps into the grass/gardens and adds a ton of water to the soil.

Re:Madness (1)

ALeavitt (636946) | more than 4 years ago | (#30599922)

I don't know about the place where you live, but here in Minnesota we get about two hours of glistening, beautiful, white snow followed by a matter of months of dirty, disgusting, brown or black slush and enormous grey snowbanks. Personally, I think that it would be a much less dreary place in winter if we didn't have all of this accumulated snow.
Having said that, I'm also an avid skier, so it should go without saying that I don't want to see snow-free winters. Ideally I would just like snow to stay where it belongs.

Re:Madness (1)

Zibben (1451167) | more than 4 years ago | (#30600356)

Being one that moved from Minnesota to Oklahoma, I'll take snow any day (even if no one down here knows how to drive in it.) And seeing as it usually doesn't get cold enough for snow to accumulate we get ice instead.

Re:Madness (1)

ArsenneLupin (766289) | more than 4 years ago | (#30599938)

respite from pollution by covering up the accumulated gunk with white?

I guess you have never seen snow in a city. Hint: it won't stay white for long...

Re:Madness (5, Funny)

Robotbeat (461248) | more than 4 years ago | (#30599960)

Russia is reverting to its industry-over-humans ways.

That always was my favorite part about the Soviet Union. None of this whiny "but we'll get cancer" crap. In Russia, a guy would be lucky to see his sixties and not die of alcohol-related disease.

My favorite was Nuclear Explosions for the National Economy [wikipedia.org] , which was a much bigger version(i.e. over 200 nuclear explosions!) of the US's Operation Plowshare (a mere 28). They made a lake, went prospecting for diamonds and oil and gas and all sorts of neat things to do with "peaceful nuclear explosions." I believe the Soviets also found a way to make cattle feed directly out of petroleum (though I haven't been able to source this), I suppose in case of nuclear winter. I think the Soviets were also thinking of working with the USA to intentionally melt the Arctic ice sheet via damming up the Bering Strait or something. They were going to use the Energia rocket (designed for their Buran Space Shuttle) to orbit a giant orbiting mirror to illuminate arctic/Siberian towns during the cold, dark winters there.

You learn how to fight to win in the struggle of Man vs Nature when you live in a place as cold and desolate as Russia.

I think the Russians actually WANT global warming. I doubt they'll ever start doing anything meaningful to stop it. Heck, an ice-free Arctic would mean a lot more viable trading ports for Russia, something it has always been in very short supply of (compared to the United States, which has ginormous, ice-free trading ports on the two busiest oceans... this has been an enormous engine of growth and geopolitical power for the USA). Also, they would likely substantially increase how much arable land they have available if the temperature rose a few degrees. The only people who have more to gain from Global Warming is probably Canada.

And if global warming is ever a big enough problem that we just HAVE TO lower the temperature a few degrees via some geoengineering scheme, the Russians are the ones to go to who have the gonads to do it and the industrial capability to pull it off, although China could probably do it just as well.

Does this EVER work? (3, Interesting)

dtolman (688781) | more than 4 years ago | (#30599590)

Is this used successfully anywhere, regularly?

I remember China making mention of doing this for the 2008 games, but as far as I can see, the only policies that really did make a difference in the weather was closing factories, and banning cars from the road to reduce the choking air pollution...

Re:Does this EVER work? (1)

Primitive Pete (1703346) | more than 4 years ago | (#30599770)

Yes. See "Cloud seeding" on wikipedia for some details.

Re:Does this EVER work? (1)

dtolman (688781) | more than 4 years ago | (#30599916)

Cloud seeding is one thing - this is an attempt to stop precipitation for a region altogether.

Re:Does this EVER work? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30600098)

... which still involves cloud seeding by causing premature precipitation. If you don't care to RTFA or RTFWP, at least read the fucking summary.

At least read the summary before correcting others (1)

rts008 (812749) | more than 4 years ago | (#30600220)

Go back and at least read the summary.

(Hint: a quote from TFS)

Carrying off the $6 million procedure required jets to spray silver iodide into coming clouds, ensuring that all precipitation fell before it reached the capital.

Cloud seeding is EXACTLY what they are doing. And it's not for a region, just Moscow...the 'capital' quoted from TFS above.

Re:At least read the summary before correcting oth (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30600734)

Maybe I'm being dumb, but how did they know it wasn't already going to be exhausted before it reached the capital?

Re:Does this EVER work? "not really" (2, Informative)

Wodenedow (1621001) | more than 4 years ago | (#30600096)

To save folks time, I will quote directly from the wikipedia article: "The amount of precipitation due to seeding is difficult to quantify. Cloud seeding may also suppress precipitation." The article contains plenty of examples of places where cloud seeding is used, but no data that would back up the "works" claim.

In soviet russia... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30599598)

Snow geoengineer you..

Re:In soviet russia... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30599628)

lol

Damn Russians (1)

Capt.DrumkenBum (1173011) | more than 4 years ago | (#30599632)

Stealing all my snow. Bastards! I live further than anyone else from the office, if it snows I get a snow day. So far this winter it has snowed once on my way home from work, and it was all gone by morning.
I can hear you asking where I live... I live in the best place in the world! Vancouver Canada.

Re:Damn Russians (1)

hysma (546540) | more than 4 years ago | (#30600142)

It is the "best place on earth," but only if you don't count Campbell, BC Ferries, health care, minimum wage, homelessness, police brutality, and the divided opinion on the Olympics.

But none of those matter much, it is The BEST Place on Earth [bestplaceonearth.ca] afterall.

Re:Damn Russians (1)

Blakey Rat (99501) | more than 4 years ago | (#30600194)

I live in the best place in the world! Vancouver Canada.
--
There's an old robot saying that applies here:
DOES NOT COMPUTE

Wow, that's the perfect combination of post and sig. Congratulations.

Re:Damn Russians (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30600756)

Vancouver? Come on, we all know Surrey has better weed and hookers so it wins!

http://uncyclopedia.wikia.com/wiki/Surrey

What climate problem? (1, Informative)

dontmakemethink (1186169) | more than 4 years ago | (#30599800)

Lemme get this straight. We're in the middle of a climate crisis, and they're messing with the weather? There couldn't possibly be a connection between precipitation and temperature could there? It's not like water vapor is the most prominent greenhouse gas or anything...

What the hell? (1)

GhostGuy (708750) | more than 4 years ago | (#30599890)

Nobody should mess with nature on a large scale like that. Especially not russia, they're not exactly known for thinking things through properly. Who knows what sort of chain effect this sort of shit could set off? It's bad enough that we alter coastlines, pollute the air, alter tides, etc. Fucking with precipitation is just fucking irresponsible.

Re:What the hell? (0)

graft (556969) | more than 4 years ago | (#30600458)

Yeah, mod parent up. Given the unmitigated disaster we're experiencing right now with regards to large-scale ecological destruction from our PASSIVE tampering with various natural processes, why do we think we've got the brains to get it right when we mess around with things actively? Given the history of large-scale government-controlled projects to alter land use and agriculture patterns in Russia (and China, where they're also trying weather modification), I would think they'd be a bit more cautious about stuff like this. Hubris knows no bounds, apparently. And has no memory.

Snow Removal In Moscow (4, Interesting)

twmcneil (942300) | more than 4 years ago | (#30599942)

One morning with nothing better to do, I watched from my hotel window as a crew removed snow from the Moscow street below. Men with shovels scooped the snow into a truck, no other machines were used. The truck disappeared to dump the snow into the river. The snow has so much salt in it that nothing, absolutely nothing downstream survives. It's a huge source of pollution. It took the truck about two hours to dump the snow and return. During this time the men lean against their shovels and smoked. They did not employ a second truck which led me to assume that in Russia a truck is worth more than six men.

So there is a good reason to stop snow accumulation in Moscow (reducing pollution) but unemployment would spike.

Re:Snow Removal In Moscow (2, Informative)

istartedi (132515) | more than 4 years ago | (#30600408)

Wow. That sounds like the Soviet Union never really ended. Is there so much snow that they can't use a plow and shove it up on the sidewalk?

That would eliminate all the jobs except "snowplow driver", of course.

As long as you are employing men with shovels, a 2nd truck doesn't really help. They need to rest anyway. The last thing they need is heavy smokers shoveling snow continuously without a break.

Cup half empty if it worked (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30600050)

And west of Moscow they get 12' of snow but east of Moscow they have a severe drought. There's no such thing as ideal weather for everyone even if it had worked. They talk about the butterfly effect, well this is the equivalent of dropping a nuke. Modifying weather there could reduce snow fall in the mountains leading to dry rivers in India or western China. There's simply no way to isolate weather and large scale engineering in Russia could affect weather worldwide. already it's hard to predict weather more than a couple of days ahead so it's impossible to judge regional and long term effects.

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