Thursday, June 29, 2017

Is sea air good for you?

The summer holidays are here, which means there’ll soon be crowds flocking to the coast to spend the day at the beach. The supposed benefits of ‘fresh sea air’ are commonly extolled, but its origins might not be what you think: it’s the chemical compounds produced by algae and seaweed that contribute towards its characteristic smell.
Seaweed is one of the more obvious sources of malodorous compounds. It’s commonly seen washed up on the fringes of the sea, and as it decomposes, it can produce gases that contribute to the ‘sea smell’. The principle gas produced is hydrogen sulfide, which is generated via the bacterial breakdown of organic compounds in the seaweed. Hydrogen sulfide has an odour commonly described as akin to rotting eggs, and is actually a toxic gas in high concentrations.
However, before you start sprinting in terror from seaweed on all future vacations, it’s worth pointing out that, at low concentrations, hydrogen sulfide is harmless. In fact, it’s naturally produced in the body (it’s also a big contributor to the odour of flatulence), and since our bodies are capable of breaking it down, it can be tolerated at low levels pretty much indefinitely.
Seaweed isn’t the only plant that has a hand in the smell of the sea, however. Perhaps the most important contributor is algae. Algae contain a compound called dimethylsulfoniopropiante (DMSP for short) in their cells. The precise role of this compound still isn’t exactly known, but amongst other things, it’s thought to regulate the volume of the cells, and the fluid levels. This compound can be broken down, both by enzymes in the algae, and by bacteria. When this occurs, dimethylsulfide (DMS) is one of the compounds that can be produced.
DMS is another compound with a disagreeable odour at high concentrations – often compared to that of cabbage. Birds are actually attracted to the smell, as plankton in the sea also produced the gas, and this can lead them to fish. Huge quantities of DMS are produced in the ocean, with a billion tonnes being a rough estimate. DMS and hydrogen sulfide aren’t the sole contributors to the sea smell though – chemical derivatives of DMS can also have a hand.
After a while, the sulfurous algae emissions escape into the atmosphere, where beachgoers get the benefit of its lovely smell. That slow seep is actually the most abundant source of biological sulfur in the atmosphere—sulfur that helps with cloud formation. Scientists think that it plays a major role in controlling the planet’s temperature. “If these reactions didn’t exist, we would have a much different planet, and it wouldn’t be habitable," says Zeljko Serdar. "We rely on these microorganisms catalyzing these particular reactions as part of their metabolism for us to be able to live."
So that characteristic smell of the sea breeze? It’s how the creatures of the ocean, from the tiny plankton to the seabirds, converse with each other, ultimately making your beach vacation possible.
Finally, is sea air good for you? On that question, the jury seems to be out. Most of the studies that conclude that it is seem to rely on self-evaluations of the health of people living near the sea compared to those living further from it, with actual proven health benefits seeming thin on the ground. That said, as you lay back and savour the scent of the decay products of algae and seaweed, you can see why some people might find the idea that it’s good for them an encouraging thought! 



Thursday, June 22, 2017


Asking a question that assumes a particular answer is easy to do when you already think you're right and just want people to say you're right. The chemtrail conspiracy theory is the claim that long-lasting trails, so-called "chemtrails", are left in the sky by high-flying aircraft and that they consist of chemical or biological agents deliberately sprayed for unknown purposes undisclosed to the general public Believers (like me, myself & I) in the theory argue that normal contrails dissipate relatively quickly and that contrails that do not dissipate must contain additional substances.

We ask some question? #Chemtrail! Here are some answers from Weather Modification Inc. 3802 20th St. N Fargo, ND 58102 USA

Zeljko Serdar, CCRES
Who are you?
Weather Modification, Inc., is a global atmospheric sciences company committed to continued advances in the field of weather modification.
Weather Modification, Inc., has a wide range of services to provide knowledge, data, equipment and capability at any phase in your project. We can also tailor a program to meet your specific objectives and manage it from beginning to end.
Our talented scientists, researchers, project managers, technicians, and pilots have the expertise you need to carry out an efficient, effective weather program.

Cloud seeding?
Aerial cloud seeding is the process of delivering a seeding agent by aircraft - either at the cloud base or cloud top. Top seeding allows for direct injection of the seeding agent into the supercooled cloud top. Base seeding is the release of the seeding agent in the updraft of a cloud base.
Water resources are increasingly taxed by exploding demand and continued population growth. The world's population is projected to grow over 40% in the next 45 years.
Weather modification, commonly known as cloud seeding, is the application of scientific technology that can enhance a cloud's ability to produce precipitation. Weather Modification, Inc., is on the forefront of scientific technology to maximize water availability worldwide. Application of scientific concepts and extensive scientific experimentation has proven that cloud seeding increases the amount of precipitation.

What are the common applications of cloud seeding?
Cloud seeding is most commonly used to increase precipitation, both in warm and cold seasons (summer and winter). Spring and summer operations are usually conducted from aircraft, as the clouds of interest are convective (cumuliform). Winter storms are most often seeded to increase the snowfall over mountainous terrain. In these cold-season programs, seeding can be done either from aircraft or from ground-based facilities.
Warm season cloud seeding is also used to mitigate hail damage to homes, automobiles, property and crops. Hail damage mitigation efforts utilize airborne delivery of the seeding material.
In addition, cold fogs, those made of cloud droplets but existing at cold temperatures (less than 0°C); can often be dissipated by seeding with ice-forming agents.

How can the effectiveness of cloud seeding operations be determined?
The success of cloud seeding programs for increased participation can be measured using precipitation gauge data to compare rainfall or snowfall during comparable seeded and non-seeded periods. Another evaluation technique relies on the comparison of seeded seasons with other non-seeded seasons in the same location. For warm season seeding projects, weather radar is sometimes used for evaluations, because all the clouds within range are measured. Some wintertime projects, designed to increase snowfall and subsequent runoff, measure changes in stream flows to assess the impact of seeding efforts.

What are the environmental consequences of weather modification?
Environmental impact from cloud seeding operations can be broken into two categories:
The effects of the chemical seeding agents used for the programs
The impacts of precipitation changes

Environmental Impact from Cloud Seeding Agents
The active ingredient in cold cloud seeding agents is silver iodide, or AgI. Unlike ionic silver, the silver iodide compound is very stable, essentially inert. Numerous studies have been conducted that clearly demonstrate its safety. Even projects operated for decades have experienced no adverse environmental impacts because of silver iodide. Additional information about the safety of silver iodide, is found in many studies and reports. The active ingredient in warm cloud seeding is simple salt, either sodium chloride (NaCl, table salt), or calcium chloride (CaCl). Both are found abundantly in the environment; sea spray releases millions of tons of NaCl into the atmosphere annually.
Environmental Impact of Precipitation Changes
The effects of cloud seeding on precipitation are typically on the order of 10%, while seasonal natural variability may be as much as a factor of two. When viewed in this context, the seasonal effects resulting from increased precipitation are negligible.

Are cloud seeding activities subject to regulation or control?
In the United States, most states have laws in place that require permits for all cloud seeding activities, and that those persons conducting the projects be qualified to do so. In addition, site-specific permits and/or environmental evaluations may sometimes be required. U.S. Federal law requires that all cloud seeding operations be reported annually to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

How quickly can Weather Modification, Inc. , launch a project?
Depending upon the location and nature of the program, we may be able to mobilize an effective program within a few weeks of a signed contract. The fastest response generally includes the use of facilities owned by Weather Modification, Inc., including aircraft, radars and ground-based seeding equipment. If a client wants to use aircraft they already own, additional time is required to make required aircraft modifications and obtain needed certifications. Because of our extensive experience and resources, Weather Modification, Inc., does this faster than anyone.

Do I need to have my own aircraft, or does Weather Modification, Inc. , supply them?
We operate a fleet of reliable twin-engine aircraft suitable for virtually every project, from warm season cloud base seeding operations, to wintertime operations in known icing conditions, to on-top convective storm treatment and/or atmospheric assessment and evaluation. We can even handle your high-altitude (up to 43,000 ft) research needs.
If you wish to use your own aircraft, we can quickly install all requisite seeding equipment and instrumentation for you.
Either way, your program can be up and running quickly and safely.

What does a cloud seeding project cost?
The cost of a project depends upon the target area size, season and topography, types of seeding to be conducted, needed equipment and personnel, and the length of the desired project period. It is usually better to consider benefit-to-cost ratios. If you think you might be interested, contact us and we’ll be happy to assess your needs and offer an estimate.

If I am interested in starting a weather modification project, where do I begin?
You can contact us by telephone, mail, fax – or via our simple online form. Or if you prefer, e-mail us at Tell us where and when you need your project, what you hope to accomplish, and we’ll help you get started.

Some for the end?
Let us help you better manage your atmospheric and water resources.
When most people look up they see clouds.