What you need to know:
- ScienceDirect defines unintentional weather modification as "any change in the weather resulting from human actions taken for purposes other than changing the weather".
- The most common form of weather modification is cloud seeding, a technique designed to increase precipitation from clouds.
The idea of weather modification was seen in the 1940s as a promising science that could be used to change the weather. Today, weather modification continues. The most common method, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), is cloud seeding.
However, climate deniers have attempted to link climate change to weather modification, despite science proving otherwise.
In a recent Instagram post, one user said: "What if global warming and climate change were actually just private companies using the 350+ weather modification patents they've developed since 1920 to create adverse weather events and blame it on us driving our cars in order to charge us carbon taxes?"
The answer to that question is no.
ScienceDirect defines unintentional weather modification as "any change in the weather resulting from human actions taken for purposes other than changing the weather".
The most common form of weather modification is cloud seeding, a technique designed to increase precipitation from clouds.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) notes that cloud seeding increases rain or snow and is often used with the intention of increasing local water supplies. NOAA also notes that "weather modification can also have the goal of preventing damaging weather, such as hail or hurricanes. "
Other methods include "using fires or heat sources to affect convective circulation or to evaporate fog; modifying the solar radiation exchange of the earth or clouds by releasing gases, dusts, liquids, or aerosols into the atmosphere; modifying the characteristics of land or water surfaces by dusting or treating with powders, liquid sprays, dyes, or other materials; and applying shock waves, sonic energy sources, or other explosive or acoustic sources to the atmosphere".
With regard to global warming and climate change, the United Nations states that global warming is caused when greenhouse gas emissions blanket the earth and trap the heat released by the sun. greenhouse gases are released from the burning of fossil fuels, from various sectors and from human activities.
These, according to the UN, include the production of electricity and heat, manufacturing and industry, deforestation to create farms or pastures, the transport industry, which is known to be the largest contributor, food production, crop cultivation and the packaging and distribution of food.
"The production of electricity and heat by burning fossil fuels such as coal, oil and natural gas causes a large proportion of global emissions. Manufacturing and industry produce emissions by burning fossil fuels to produce energy to make things like cement, iron, steel, electronics, plastics, clothing and other goods. Mining and other industrial processes also release gases," says the UN.
"Cutting down forests causes emissions. when they are cut down, the carbon they have stored is released. destroying them also reduces nature's ability to keep emissions out of the atmosphere. Producing food requires energy to run farm machinery or fishing boats, usually from fossil fuels. Growing crops can also cause emissions, for example when fertiliser and manure are used. Cattle produce methane, a powerful greenhouse gas," the UN adds.
So the claim is false.
This fact check was produced by Nation with support from Code for Africa's Pesa Check, the International Fact-Checking Network and the African Fact-Checking Alliance Network.