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CIA to Fund Study to Alter Weather with Geoengineering

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Jul 22, 2013 02:00 PM EDT
The lobby of the CIA Headquarters Building in McLean, Virginia, August 14, 2008
The Central Intelligence Agency, along with other U.S. government agencies, is partially funding an experiment to control the weather. Under the auspices of scientific research into whether geoengineering techniques can be used to alter Earth's environment and stop climate change, the CIA will partner with the National Academy of Science (NAS) for the 21-month study, which is the first NAS geoengineering study to be funded by the CIA, according to a report by Mother Jones. (Photo : Reuters )

The Central Intelligence Agency, along with other U.S. government agencies, is partially funding an experiment to control the weather. Under the auspices of scientific research into whether geoengineering techniques can be used to alter Earth's environment and stop climate change, the CIA will partner with the National Academy of Science (NAS) for the 21-month study, which is the first NAS geoengineering study to be funded by the CIA, according to a report by Mother Jones.

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Payment for the $630,000 study will be split between the NAS, the CIA, NOAA and NASA.

Geoengineering is the process of deliberately manipulating the Earth's climate system on a large scale. The aim of the NAS study is to assess the "potential impacts of deploying [geoengineering] technologies, including possible environmental, economic, and national security concerns" involved in changing the weather. The overall goal of the study appears to be an effort to curb global warming. But the geoengineering process is controversial because of the unknown consequences which may come from attempting to alter nature, one of which is the acidification of the oceans as a byproduct of known geoengineering techniques.

One of the tactics proposed for study include "solar radiation management," a theoretical practice which calls for the launching of material into the atmosphere to try and block the Sun's radiation and limit temperature rise. Various carbon dioxide removal tactics will also be explored.

The NAS website indicates that the "study is intended to provide a careful, clear scientific foundation that informs ethical, legal, and political discussions surrounding geoengineering."

One geoengineering tactic known as "cloud seeding" has long been in use. The tactic, which injects substances into clouds to induce precipitation, is widespread. China is believed to have seeded clouds ahead of the Beijing Olympics to ensure it would not rain on the Olympic events, the recent plantation fires in Indonesia were a target for cloud seeding, even the U.S. military reportedly engaged in cloud seeding during the Vietnam War in a bid to turn the battlefield into a giant puddle of mud.

Airfield workers are also known to alter the weather by a using a sort of reverse cloud seeding, which suppresses precipitation like fog, which is a hindrance to airplanes landing and taking off.

Conspiracy theorists are likely to have a field day with the news that the U.S. government and its intelligence community are attempting to alter the weather, as evidenced by the widespread conspiracies surrounding the government-funded High Frequency Active Auroral Research Program (HAARP) in Alaska , which is capable of manipulating the ionosphere.

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