South Korea plans artificial rains to clear smog

Mar 08, 2019, 7:50 AM EST
(Source: CLAUDIA DEA/flickr)
(Source: CLAUDIA DEA/flickr)

The haze that enveloped South Korean capital Seoul last week has pushed the authorities to dabble in a fancy yet unproven method to wash away the thick layer of smog that is loaded with nearly 200 micrograms per cubic meter particulate matter — way beyond the safe limits of 35 micrograms.

The country is resorting to artificial rains in hopes that it will settle down the suspended particles in the air and bring reprieve to the locals, who have been forced to put on pollution masks outdoors in the face of deteriorating air quality over the years, reports Earther.

The process would involve catalyzing the formation of clouds by spraying certain particles into the atmosphere over the Yellow Sea — which separates South Korea from China and is also a culprit behind Seoul’s rising air pollution.

This will be a collaborative effort with China, as the majority of fine dust particles from the country’s deserts, factories, and coal plants rides on the westerly winds and crosses into South Korea, further fouling its atmosphere, notes Al Jazeera.