Ammonium nitrate is a crystal white substance that is extensively used as a fertilizer in agriculture. This chemical, however, also plays a part in the cloud seeding process, which produces artificial rain. Ammonium nitrate, along with other compounds, is responsible for increasing nuclei and increasing cloud density. Once these crystals enter the atmosphere they interact with other particles to form droplets that can eventually lead to rainfall.
Ammonium nitrate is not extremely toxic but it can be harmful if inhaled or ingested. It is recommended not to ingest this substance nor to put it in your mouth without first washing your hands and arms afterwards because the skin will absorb some of the ammonium nitrate molecules. The amount of time it takes for the body to break down ammonium nitrate depends on how much you eat or drink so it's important to take precautions not to expose yourself or others to unnecessary risk by mishandling this material.
People who work with ammonium nitrate must wear protective clothing such as gloves, boots, and face masks when handling this material. Ammonium nitrate also emits gases when it burns that could be harmful if exposed to air for long periods of time. Therefore, working with this material should always be done in properly ventilated areas to avoid inhalation hazards.
After it is spread on farmland, ammonium nitrate may come into contact with soil bacteria called nitrifying organisms.
Silver iodide, potassium iodide, and dry ice are the most often used compounds for cloud seeding (solid carbon dioxide). It has also been utilized liquid propane, which expands into a gas. At greater temperatures than silver iodide, this can form ice crystals. The introduction of these substances into the atmosphere through precipitation helps seeds new clouds with more stable temperatures.
The purpose of cloud seeding is to induce precipitation when the temperature of the air is below its dew point. This can be done by dispersing particles that have nuclei that trigger precipitation (nucleation agents) or by injecting fluids into the cloud (rainmakers). In order to increase the number of seeds that initiate precipitation, multiple injections may be made into the same cloud. Cloud seeding is commonly performed as part of a larger-scale meteorological experiment designed to improve our understanding of environmental conditions that lead to precipitation.
Cloud seeding was first proposed in the 1930s by American scientists who observed naturally occurring ice particles in clouds over the Arctic Ocean. They believed that if they could induce precipitation from clouds far away from any land mass, it might help prevent large amounts of water vapor from accumulating in the atmosphere during winter months, which could cause severe weather problems for crops and infrastructure near the ground.
Salts. The usage of hygroscopic materials, such as table salt, is becoming increasingly widespread as a result of positive research. However, no significant additional snow has been observed after its use so far.
The World Meteorological Organization states that salting of roads and other surfaces may increase the amount of precipitation by up to 20%. However, since this effect depends on many factors such as temperature, humidity, and soil moisture, it cannot be guaranteed. Moreover, there have been cases where it had the opposite effect and did not induce more rain but rather caused less because of increased erosion due to melting of the salt off of vehicles during rainstorms.
Overall, salting of roads and other surfaces is an effective method for increasing rainfall but not snowfall. It is important that this activity takes place during periods of heavy rain rather than cold snaps since salt will melt if temperatures drop below freezing.