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China has set aside 277 billion dollars to deal with its air pollution problems, and part of that money has been committed to making rain in hopes it’ll wash the smoggy grey skies away. China has set aside 277 billion dollars to deal with its air pollution problems, and part of that money has been committed to making rain in hopes it’ll wash the smoggy grey skies away. The plan will be put into action in 2015, but the practice is anything but new to the country. Overall, artificial rain has been dabbled with since the 1950s. In China the technique was used to ensure that not a drop of precipitation would fall on the elaborate opening ceremony of the 2008 Bejing Olympics. It worked that time, but critics aren’t so sure rainfall has the power to kill China’s very serious issues with smog. On some days the problem is so bad citizens say they can actually smell it. Making it rain is easy enough. Rockets carrying silver iodide are launched into the clouds. Upon contact with the cold water within, the particles crystallize and fall to the ground as rain or snow, temperature depending. The hope is that on the way down, the droplets and flakes will take some of the airborne soot and dust with it.