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ISWS Report of Investigation RI-89PDF


Title:Economics of Weather Modification: A Review
Author(s):Sonka, Steven T.
Subject(s):Cloud seeding
cost-benefit analysis
economic impacts
fog dispersal
hail suppression
hurricane suppression
lightning suppression
precipitation augmentation
snowpack enhancement
weather modification
Abstract:This report first discusses gross benefits and costs of potential weather modification activities and the elements vital to a credible economic analysis of such activities. It then reviews and evaluates more than 60 existing studies relating to the economic impacts of five major modification activities: precipitation augmentation including snowpack enhancement, hail suppression, hurricane suppression, fog dispersal, and lightning suppression. Because weather can have severe adverse effects on economic activity, gross benefits of modification appear very high in relation to most operational costs. However, indirect costs may be great and, in general, those adversely affected are not the same individuals enjoying the gross benefits. A credible economic analysis of net bcnefits of weather modification requires consulting with atmospheric scientists to assure understanding of the physical factors involved, funding for a considerable amount of data gathering, considering effects of possible future changes in crucial factors, and orienting the analytical viewpoint to both negative and positive regional impacts. Most of the existing literature relating to the economics of weather modification addresses precipitation augmentation and hail suppression; very few attempts toward comprehensive economic analyses have been made. More is known about the economic impacts of weather on agriculture than for any other activity area.
Issue Date:1979
Publisher:Illinois State Water Survey
Series/Report:Report of Investigation (Illinois State Water Survey) RI-089
Genre:Technical Report
Publication Status:published
Peer Reviewed:peer reviewed
Rights Information:Copyright, University of Illinois Board of Trustees. All rights reserved. This document is a product of the Illinois State Water Survey, and has been selected and made available by the Illinois State Water Survey and the University Library, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. It is intended for research and educational use, and proper attribution is requested.
Date Available in IDEALS:2015-05-28

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