The forthcoming Beijing Olympics will be the greatest spectacle in mankind’s history. Not only has it been surrounded by heaps of social and political controversy, but in order to prove to the world how much of a bad ass super power they are, China’s pulling out all the stops.
China has prepared a three-stage program to ensure that rain will not fall on their 91,000 seat, open air Olympic stadium. The plan is pretty fucking insane. First, regional weather will be monitored via planes, satellites, radar and an IBM supercomputer “that executes 9.8 trillion floating point operations per second.”
Secondly, aircraft and an array of 20 artillery and missile launch sites arranged around Beijing will be on-call to “shoot and spray silver iodide and dry ice into incoming clouds that are still far enough away that their rain can be flushed out before they reach the stadium.”
Lastly, something referred to locally as “The Bird’s Nest” will stand as the final line of defense. Heavy rain clouds passing to close to the stadium will be “seeded” with chemicals from the Bird’s Nest in order to shrink rain droplets. According to Zhang Qian, head of Beijing’s Weather Modification Office:
“We use a coolant made from liquid nitrogen to increase the number of droplets while decreasing their average size. As a result, the smaller droplets are less likely to fall, and precipitation can be reduced.”
Currently, the Beijing summer games are just over 130 days away. The ceremonial torch has already been lit and will be in Greece for a while before it’s handed off in Beijing. The torch will make it to US soil on April 9th in San Francisco en route to Buenos Aires. The games run from August 8th through 24th.