Questions for ‘Is weather control a dream or nightmare?’

In September, three hurricanes — from left, Katia, Irma and Jose — spun in the Atlantic. Given the storms’ damage, altering their paths might seem like a good idea. But that could cause damage elsewhere, scientists warn.

NASA Earth Observatory images by Joshua Stevens and Jesse Allen, using VIIRS day-night band data from the Suomi National Polar-orbiting Partnership and Terra MODIS data from the Land Atmosphere Near real-time Capability for EOS (LANCE)

To accompany feature “Is weather control a dream or nightmare?”


Before Reading: 

1.  If you could control the weather, what changes would you make, and why? Can you think of any downside to being able to do so?

2.  What is the difference between weather and climate?

During Reading: 

1.  What is cloud seeding, and why might scientists or governments want to do it?

2.  When and how did Vincent Schaefer first perform cloud seeding in his lab?

3.  How is silver iodide used in cloud seeding?

4.  What is snowpack, and why is it important?

5.  How can scientists do controlled experiments as part of their research on cloud seeding?

6.  Used what you’ve read in this story to explain why the planet’s climate and weather patterns are changing. Also, how do greenhouse gases contribute to climate change?

7.  What are two examples of ways in which climate change has already affected people’s lives, according to the story?

8.  What are two important ways that David Titley mentions to reduce the negative impacts of climate change?

9.  What is geoengineering, and what are two geoengineering strategies that scientists have proposed?

10.  What is an example of the “unintended consequences” of geoengineering?

After Reading:

1.  Imagine that it’s 200 years from now. The planet’s climate has changed dramatically, with mostly negative consequences for life on Earth. If you could travel back in time to tell people of today how they could avoid this future, what would you suggest?

2.  What are some possible ways that climate change might affect the region where you live? What effects have already occurred?