Global Geographies of Weather Modification in an Era of Climate Change

by Center on Contemporary China

Lecture Hybrid Event

Thu, Sep 14, 2023

12 PM – 1:30 PM EDT (GMT-4)

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Louis A Simpson International Building, Room 144

Princeton, NJ 08544,

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As climate change impacts intensify, the practice of cloud seeding to induce precipitation and otherwise modify the weather is on the rise around the world. In 2018, for example, seven states in the western United States entered into the Colorado River Basin Weather Modification Agreement to try to augment snowpack. In response to unprecedented drought on the Yangtze River in summer 2022, the Chinese government stepped up its already extensive weather modification efforts. Moreover, intensified weather modification efforts have contributed to geopolitical tensions. Weather modification is also associated in the public imagination with solar radiation management, a highly controversial form of geoengineering. Despite the importance of weather modification in the context of climate change, it has not attracted much attention from geographers. Through the lens of several geographical concepts, Emily Yeh, professor of geography at University of Colorado-Boulder, considers practices of weather modification in the U.S., China, and the United Arab Emirates. These include China’s “Sky River” project that promised to seed clouds to move rain across the Tibetan Plateau.


Louis A Simpson International Building, Room 144

Princeton, NJ 08544,


Emily Yeh's profile photo

Emily Yeh

Emily T. Yeh is Professor of Geography at the University of Colorado Boulder, USA. She is the author of Taming Tibet: Landscape Transformation and the Gift of Chinese Development, as well as the co-editor of Mapping Shangrila: Contested Landscapes in the Sino-Tibetan Borderlands, and Rural Politics in Contemporary China.


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Co-hosted with: Princeton Institute for International & Regional Studies, Center on Contemporary China (OWNER)