Inducing artificial rain over the Yellow Sea has been proposed by the South Korea government as a method to reduce fine dust. What are your thoughts or experience on this approach to decrease air pollution?
It has been shown that it is sometimes possible to trigger rainfall. However, it is dependent on meteorological conditions, and it is not possible to guarantee rainfall everywhere on every day.
@akb: Thanks for sharing your thoughts on the proposed solution.
Do you know of a novel cutting edge approach, which has been helpful in reducing fine particulate pollution?
Hi @Shashi : I’m not aware of any effective solutions for extracting PM from the air.
It is widely recognised that the most effective solutions are those that prevent emissions at source. This means, for example, improving the efficiency of combustion processes, filtering the exhaust (with physical filters / membranes and/or electrostatic filters), preventing the emission of primary pollutants that are precursors to secondary air pollution, and switching to zero emission technologies (like electric vehicles).
We assume the electricity for EVs comes from clean renewable sources (e.g. solar, wind, wave, tidal and geothermal).
There is a consistent link between precipitation and decreased PM concentrations (https://link.springer.com/content/pdf/10.1007%2Fs12517-015-2163-2.pdf) and (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4555266/) (https://iopscience.iop.org/article/10.1088/1755-1315/78/1/012003). India typically sees lowest PM during monsoon season. This would suggest that manipulation of rainfall could impact PM concentrations. However the PM concentration is only reduced by ~50% during this season of extremely heavy rainfall. I would ultimately suspect that the cost benefit return on this type of project would be low.
We learned that people in charge of sensor stations for clean air in China would mist water over the sensors so the report would be better… Rain does clean the air, but large scale geoengineering is a dangerous game!! @JessicaYoon