The government plans to try inducing artificial rain through cloud seeding in the West Sea later this week in an attempt to reduce fine dust that has become a major health threat here.
The Korea Meteorological Administration (KMA) and the Ministry of Environment plan to carry out the joint experiment Friday in the sea between the Korean Peninsula and China, as a large portion of fine dust is believed to come from the mainland.
Previously, the government conducted cloud seeding in inland areas but found it had little effect in reducing dust levels. This will be the first experiment carried out at sea.
The agency will release silver iodide and/or calcium chloride ― chemical compounds that are known to stimulate precipitation ― into appropriate cloud formations via aircraft.
The government plans to conduct around 15 tests this year.
It hopes the experiment will successfully reduce the level of fine dust particles, especially those originating from China. But the results of cloud seeding have been inconclusive so far.
The experiment follows orders from Cheong Wa Dae, after President Moon Jae-in expressed concerns about the rise in fine dust levels and called for various countermeasures during a Cabinet meeting, Tuesday.
By Kim Hyun-bin