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Cloud Seeding Market Size, Share & Industry Analysis, By Type (Aerial Cloud Seeding and Ground Cloud Seeding), By Technique (Glaciogenic and Hygroscopic), By Target Area (Drought-Prone Area, Urban Area, Agriculture & Water Supply, and Others), By Cloud Seeding Agent (Silver Iodide, Dry Ice & Potassium Iodide, Sodium Chloride, and Others), and Regional Forecast, 2024-2032

Last Updated: July 01, 2024 | Format: PDF | Report ID: FBI104073

 

KEY MARKET INSIGHTS

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The global cloud seeding market size was valued at USD 375.6 million in 2023 and is projected to grow from USD 406.4 million in 2024 to USD 684.2 million by 2032, exhibiting a CAGR of 6.7% during the forecast period. Asia Pacific dominated the cloud seeding market with a market share of 77.93% in 2023. 

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Cloud seeding is a type of weather modification technique that changes the amount and type of precipitation that falls from clouds. This is achieved by dispersing material into the atmosphere that acts as cloud condensation or ice nuclei, altering the microphysical processes that occur within the cloud. The process can be carried out in different ways using seeding agents. Dry ice, silver iodide, and potassium iodide are the three most commonly used chemicals to form clouds. This process can be conducted from ground-based generators or aircraft. It increases the amount of precipitation that falls in an area, disperses fog and clouds to help areas stay dry during precipitation, minimizes cloud cover, and purifies the air of pollutants.


This artificial weather modification technique can be the only way to produce rain in places where it is desperately required. In areas with little rainfall, silver iodide is used to promote rain production. Additionally, the technique is gaining popularity in applications including drought-prone areas, urban areas, agriculture & water supply, and others. The rising climate anomalies worldwide are expected to drive the growth of the global market from 2024 to 2032.


The industry relies on specialized equipment and materials. Disruptions in the supply chain caused by the COVID-19 pandemic-related lockdowns and restrictions affected the availability of critical components. Governments and organizations faced budgetary constraints due to economic challenges caused by the pandemic. The urgent need to address health and economic crises during the COVID-19 pandemic led to a shift in priorities away from weather modification projects, affecting investments and support for the industry.


For instance, according to a report prepared by North American Weather Consultants, Inc. (NAWC) for Santa Barbara County Public Works Department, Water Agency Division: Headquartered in Sandy, Utah, NAWC conducted a four-month cloud-seeding program for the agency from December 1, 2020 to March 31, 2021. During the 2020-2021 winter season, due to budget constraints owing to COVID-19 pandemic, water purveyors sponsoring the Upper Santa Ynez target areas decided not to support the projects.


Despite challenges, the industry showcased resilience and innovation. Adaptations in operational strategies, increased use of data analytics, and exploration of new funding models emerged as responses to the evolving landscape shaped by the pandemic. As countries navigate the post-pandemic recovery phase, there are opportunities for governments and organizations to incorporate weather modification as part of broader climate resilience and disaster management strategies.


Cloud Seeding Market Trends


Use of Drone and Nanomaterial as Seeding Agent is a Prominent Trend in the Market


Technological advancements and product innovations are key trends gaining popularity in the market. Major players in the market are developing new technologies to make the artificial rain process as cost effective and eco-friendly as possible. This includes focusing advanced seeding agents and reducing the initial and operating costs of the process. For instance, a study, backed by the UAE, proposes that the utilization of drones could enhance the efficacy of artificial rain. The study demonstrates the potential for unmanned aircraft to pinpoint specific areas within clouds suitable for seeding, a process designed to stimulate increased rainfall.


This targeted approach promises more precise weather modification efforts. Traditionally, the UAE's National Centre of Meteorology (NCM) employs piloted planes for artificial rain. However, the integration of drones is considered a means to optimize the program's efficiency.


Drones, equipped to deliver seeding material to clouds precisely in challenging conditions, could contribute to improved timing and location accuracy. The findings of the research were published in the journal Atmospheric Research under the title "Modern and Prospective Technologies for Weather Modification Activities: A First Demonstration of Integrating Autonomous Uncrewed Aircraft Systems" and detailed a three-week-long field test conducted in the U.S. in 2021. Moreover, nanomaterial as seeding agents, strategic partnerships and collaborations, and government initiatives are key trends in the market.


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Cloud Seeding Market Growth Factors


Rising Climate Anomalies Worldwide to Catalyze the Growth of the Market


Climate change has led to an increase in extreme weather events, such as prolonged droughts, heatwaves, and erratic precipitation patterns. Governments and industries are seeking innovative solutions to manage water resources and address the challenges posed by climate anomalies. The need for reliable and sustainable water sources is becoming critical, prompting a surge in interest in artificial rain as a potential solution.


For instance, the below are the climate anomalies in the U.S. for the fiscal year 2022 according to NOAA (The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration)



  • The annual precipitation for the U.S. measured 28.35 inches, falling short of the average by 1.59 inches and ranking in the driest third of the historic record.

  • In 2022, there were 18 distinct billion-dollar weather and climate disaster events, marking the third-highest disaster count and making it the third-costliest year in the 43-year record.

  • The Hermits Peak Fire, occurring between April and June, set a new record as the largest wildfire in New Mexico, consuming over 341,000 acres. In 2022, in the U.S., approximately 66,000 fires burned around 7.5 million acres, a figure close to the annual average.

  • Drought conditions persisted across the contiguous U.S. for the second consecutive year, reaching a minimum extent of 44% on September 6 and peaking at 63% on October 25. This marked the most extensive contiguous U.S. drought footprint since the drought of 2012. Throughout the year, drought significantly affected the western half of the U.S., leading many major reservoirs to reach or near record-low levels.

  • In the span of the past seven years (2016-2022), there have been 122 distinct billion-dollar disasters, resulting in a loss of at least 5,000 lives and exceeding USD 1 trillion in damages.


Increasing Government Investments and Rising Adoption of Cloud Seeding Technology to Boost Market Growth


Governments and industries are seeking innovative solutions to manage water resources by adopting weather modification techniques. As the understanding of artificial rain and its potential benefits grows, there is an increasing acceptance of this technology among governments, communities, and industries. The growing adoption of cloud-seeding is linked to heightened awareness and a positive shift in public perception, indicating a broader acceptance of this weather modification technique. This collective trend is expected to propel market growth, fostering technological advancements and broader integration of artificial weather modification solutions across various industries, including agriculture, water resource management, and disaster preparedness.


In August 2023, the UAE initiated a month-long cloud-seeding campaign with the goal of advancing technologies employed to enhance rainfall nationwide. Collaborating with Stratton Park Engineering Company, a climate research specialist based in the U.S., the National Centre of Meteorology (NCM) shared plans to undertake pivotal experiments. Dubbed the Cloudix initiative—focused on cloud-aerosol-electrical interactions for rainfall enhancement—the campaign would assess the efficacy of diverse cloud-seeding methods. Equipping the NCM's cloud-seeding aircraft and Spec's Learjet with sophisticated instruments and sensors, the initiative seeks to collect essential data for analysis and improvement.


RESTRAINING FACTORS


Regulatory and Environment Concerns to Hamper Market Growth


While climate change has been a focal point on the global agenda in years, attempts to manipulate weather patterns and mitigate solar heat have received comparatively less attention, despite their potential to escalate regional tensions. Nations are increasingly deploying technological interventions in the atmosphere, oceans, and ice to either enhance their local weather conditions or mitigate global warming. However, the consequences of such interventions often transcend national borders, leading to scenarios where what benefits one country may not align with the interests of its neighbors.


Artificial weather modification operations in one region may impact neighboring areas, leading to potential cross-border conflicts and complicating regulatory oversight. The transboundary nature of weather systems raises challenges in establishing international agreements and protocols, contributing to concerns about the broader geopolitical impact of cloud-seeding activities. This is not a theoretical concern. Iran, for instance, has accused Israel of appropriating its water resources through cloud-seeding, a practice that diminishes rainfall over Iranian territory. China, known for artificially modifying weather in major cities, aims to extend this capability to over half of its territory by 2025, causing apprehension among neighboring countries such as India. Additionally, Middle Eastern rivals, the UAE and Saudi Arabia, are intensifying their rain-making operations.


Cloud Seeding Market Segmentation Analysis


By Type Analysis


Ground Cloud Seeding Dominates the Market Owing to Rising Demand for Cost-Effective Process


By type, the market is classified into aerial cloud seeding and ground cloud seeding.


Ground cloud seeding involves the deployment of seeding agents from the ground. This includes the use of ground-based generators or devices to disperse seeding materials into the atmosphere, facilitating the modification of cloud properties to induce precipitation. This segment dominates and is estimated to grow significantly during the forecast period due to growing demand for cost effective weather modification process.


Aerial cloud seeding involves the dispersal of seeding agents from aircraft. This method utilizes specially equipped planes to release seeding materials into clouds, promoting the formation of ice crystals or droplets and encouraging precipitation. This segment is estimated to be the fastest growing segment during the forecast period due to the increasing demand for advanced and precise ways for seeding a cloud.


By Technique Analysis


Glaciogenic Segment Dominated the Market Owing to Positive Results of Rain from Glaciogenic Materials


By technique, the market is segregated into glaciogenic and hygroscopic.


Glaciogenic rain-making relies on the introduction of glaciogenic materials, such as silver iodide, to encourage the formation of ice crystals in supercooled water droplets within clouds. This process is designed to enhance precipitation, particularly in cold cloud systems. This segment dominated the market in 2023 and is estimated to grow significantly due to positive results of rain from glaciogenic materials.


Hygroscopic involves the introduction of hygroscopic materials, such as salts and sodium chloride to promote the coalescence of water droplets in clouds. This technique is typically applied in warm cloud systems, aiming to increase precipitation through the merging of cloud droplets. It is the fastest growing segment in the forecast period due to the growing demand for eco-friendly techniques.


By Target Area Analysis


Drought-Prone Area Leads due to Growing Water Scarcity over Various Regions


By target area, the market is segmented into drought-prone area, urban area, agriculture & water supply, and others.


In 2023, drought prone area held the largest cloud seeding market share and these areas are focused on inducing rainfall to mitigate the impacts of water scarcity. This involves targeted cloud modification efforts to enhance precipitation and alleviate drought conditions. This segment leads and is estimated to grow significantly during the forecast period due to growing water scarcity over various regions.


The urban area segment includes solutions that are aimed at addressing climate challenges in densely populated regions. This segment is estimated to be the fastest growing during the forecast period due to growing initiatives to mitigate the pollution in urban areas.


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By Cloud Seeding Agent Analysis


Silver Iodide Segment Dominated the Market Owing to the Growing Awareness of Artificially Stimulated Rain


By cloud seeding agent, the market is segregated into silver iodide, dry ice & potassium iodide, sodium chloride, and others.


Silver iodide as a seeding agent serves as a nucleus for ice crystal formation in clouds, initiating the process of precipitation. This segment dominated the market in 2023 and is estimated to grow significantly due to growing awareness of artificially stimulated rain.


Sodium chloride or common table salt, is a hygroscopic seeding agent used in warm cloud systems. It promotes the coalescence of water droplets, leading to increased precipitation. This segment is expected to be the fastest growing segment due to the increasing demand for low cost and environment friendly seeding agents.


REGIONAL INSIGHTS


In terms of geography, the market is divided into North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, the Middle East & Africa, and Latin America.


Asia Pacific Cloud Seeding Market Size, 2023 (USD Million)

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Asia Pacific dominated the market in 2023 and was valued at USD 292.7 million in 2023. This is attributed to growing natural hazards and environmental pollution. China was dominant in the Asia Pacific cloud seeding market in 2023. For instance, in August 2022, China took steps to actively address power shortages and deliver additional water to the drought-affected Yangtze River basin amid a historic heatwave. The country employed artificial rain making techniques, allocating relief funds, and exploring new sources of supply to mitigate the impact of scorching temperatures. The high temperatures disrupted crop growth, posed a threat to livestock, and compelled industries in the hydroelectricity-dependent southwestern regions to temporarily close to ensure adequate electricity for households.


North America captured the second-largest market share in 2023 due to the presence of major players and increasing government investments. In December 2022, Arizona shared plans to explore a myriad of solutions to stem the worsening drought, including artificial weather modification techniques. The Salt River Project, which provides water and electricity to central Arizona, partnered with the White Mountain Apache Tribe to study the feasibility of terrestrial cloud-seeding in the White Mountains of eastern Arizona.


Europe is expected to grow moderately during the forecast period due to rising concerns over wildfires and agriculture enhancement. For instance, in July 2023, The Fire Weather Index (FWI) is a weather index used worldwide to estimate fire risk. Values ​​are around 80, which is classified as “very extreme” by the Copernicus emergency management service. It includes the second largest wildfire burnt area on record, with more than 900,000 hectares expected to burn in EU countries by 2022.


The Middle East & Africa is anticipated to be the fastest growing region over the forecast period. The growth is due to the high adoption rate of cloud seeding or weather modification techniques for the applications such as agriculture enhancement and attracting tourism. For instance, since June 2023, the National Centre of Meteorology (NCM) announced that twenty-two cloud-seeding missions have been conducted in the UAE to boost the rainfall in the country.


Latin America is expected to grow significantly during the forecast period and the region’s cloud seeding market growth is attributed to growing drought and heat waves in the region. For instance, in July 2023, amid a historic heat wave and months of drought, the Mexican government launched the latest phase of a cloud seeding project that it hopes will increase rainfall. The project, which began in July, involves flying planes into clouds to release silver iodide particles, which, in theory, would attract more water droplets and increase rain or snowfall.


List of Key Companies in Cloud Seeding Market


Expansion into Emerging Markets, R&D Investments, and Technological Advancements are Key Focus of Leading Players to Increase Market Share


The global market is relatively consolidated with key players such as Weather Modification Inc., RHS Consulting Inc., North America Weather Consultants Inc., Snowy Hydro Limited, Mettech S.P.A, and others. Major players focus on expansion into emerging markets, research and development (R&D), and technological advancements to increase their market share. For instance, in July 2021, with temperatures reaching 50      - C, Dubai in the UAE is making its own rain using drones that fly into the clouds and release electrical charges. The UAE's cloud seeding operations are part of an ongoing USD 15 million mission to generate rain in the country.


LIST OF KEY COMPANIES PROFILED:



KEY INDUSTRY DEVELOPMENTS:



  • July 2023: Textron Aviation received an order from AvMet International for one Beechcraft King Air 360CHW and four Beechcraft King Air 260 aircraft to support the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia's National Meteorological Center's cloud seeding program. AvMet and its partners Weather Modification International (WMI) and Fargo Jet Center (FJC) would work together to equip four King Air 260 aircraft with Cloud Water Inertial Probes (CWIP), aircraft tracking data loggers, and cloud seeding devices.

  • June 2023: The Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur successfully conducted a cloud seeding test flight. The flight reached an altitude of approximately 5,000 feet. The test was carried out with the consent of the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGAC). A Cessna aircraft took off from IIT Kanpur's flight laboratory with cloud seeding props purchased from a manufacturer in the U.S. The modifications made to the aircraft were approved by the aircraft manufacturers and DGCA.

  • April 2023: The National Center of Meteorology announced that it signed an agreement with Calidus Aerospace in Abu Dhabi to purchase its advanced aircraft. NCM stated that the Wx-80 turboprop aircraft can carry larger quantities of cloud-forming material and is equipped with sophisticated safety equipment and other systems. Previously, NCM mainly used Beechcraft KingAir C90 aircraft for seeding missions.

  • March 2023: The Southern Nevada Water Authority voted to approve a USD 2.4 million grant from the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation to fund cloud seeding in other Western states with flowing rivers into dry desert areas. The weather modification method would use aircraft and ground artillery to shoot silver iodide crystals into the clouds, attracting moisture for the particles to fall as more snow and rain fall.

  • May 2022: New Mexico approves cloud seeding plan in the state's southeast The Interstate Stream Commission approved a seeding operation that could potentially alleviate drought-stricken southeast areas of the state. Texas-based Seeding Operations and Atmospheric Research, or SOAR, will lead the operations. Affected counties include Chavez, Curry, De Baca, Lea, Quay, and Roosevelt.


REPORT COVERAGE


An Infographic Representation of Cloud Seeding Market

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The report provides a detailed industry analysis. It comprises all major aspects, such as R&D capabilities and optimization of the operating services. Moreover, the market report offers insights into market trends, regional analysis, Porter’s five forces analysis, competitive landscape of various companies profiled with market competition and primarily highlights key industry developments. In addition to the above-mentioned factors, it mainly focuses on several factors that have contributed to the global market growth over recent years.


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Report Scope & Segmentation






















































ATTRIBUTE



DETAILS



Study Period



2019-2032



Base Year



2023



Estimated Year



2024



Forecast Period



2024-2032



Historical Period



2019-2022



Growth Rate



CAGR of 6.7% from 2024 to 2032



Unit



Value (USD Million)



Segmentation



By Type



  • Aerial Cloud Seeding

  • Ground Cloud Seeding



By Technique



  • Glaciogenic

  • Hygroscopic



By Target Area



  • Drought-Prone Area

  • Urban Area

  • Agriculture & Water Supply

  • Others



By Cloud Seeding Agent



  • Silver Iodide

  • Dry Ice & Potassium Iodide

  • Sodium Chloride

  • Others



By Region



  • North America (By Type, Technique, Target Area, Cloud Seeding Agent, and Country)


    • U.S.

    • Canada


  • Europe (By Type,  Technique, Target Area, Cloud Seeding Agent, and Country)


    • France

    • Russia

    • Spain

    • Rest of Europe


  • Asia Pacific (By Type, Technique, Target Area, Cloud Seeding Agent, and Country)


    • China

    • India

    • Thailand

    • Rest of Asia Pacific


  • Middle East & Africa (By Type, Technique, Target Area, Cloud Seeding Agent, and Country)


    • UAE

    • Saudi Arabia

    • Africa

    • Rest of the Middle East and Africa


  • Latin America (By Type, Technique, Target Area, Cloud Seeding Agent, and Country)


    • Mexico

    • Rest of Latin America







Frequently Asked Questions

As per a study by Fortune Business Insights, the market size was USD 375.6 million in 2023.

The market is likely to grow at a CAGR of 6.7% over the forecast period (2024-2032).

By target area, the drought-prone area is the leading segment of the market.

The market size in Asia Pacific stood at USD 292.7 million in 2023.

Rising climate anomalies, increasing government investments, and rising adoption of cloud seeding are the key factors expected to drive the market.

Some of the top players in the market are Weather Modification Inc., RHS Consulting Inc., North America Weather Consultants Inc., Snowy Hydro Limited, Mettech S.P.A, and others.

China dominated the market in 2023.

Regulatory and environment concerns are expected to hamper the market.

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