Pakistan uses artificial rain for the first time to combat smog

Eva Deschamps / December 17, 2023

Artificial rain was used for the first time in Pakistan on Saturday to combat the health-damaging smog stagnating in the megalopolis of Lahore, announced the Punjab provincial government.
  
Aircraft supplied by the United Arab Emirates and equipped with cloud-seeding technology flew over ten areas of the city, considered one of the most polluted in the world.
 
It was a "donation" from the United Arab Emirates, said Mohsin Naqvi, acting head of the Punjab provincial government.
The team will know by Saturday evening whether the "artificial rain" process has been successful, the official added. The United Arab Emirates is increasingly using cloud seeding to create artificial rain in the arid regions of this drought-stricken country.
The process involves introducing salt or a mixture of different salts into the clouds to produce precipitation, with the crystals promoting the condensation that triggers the rain.
 
This technique has been implemented in dozens of countries, including the USA, China and India. Even a little rain is effective in reducing pollution, say experts.
Air pollution in Pakistan has worsened in recent years, with low-grade diesel fumes, smoke from seasonal agricultural slash-and-burn, and cooler winter temperatures contributing to the smog that suffocates the lungs of Lahore's 11 million inhabitants. 
 
The consequences of prolonged exposure to smog, a mixture of fog and pollutant emissions, are catastrophic: heart disease, lung cancer, respiratory illnesses, strokes, according to the WHO.
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