Russia, China Team Up to Modify Atmosphere, Possibly for Military Use – Report

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The joint effort involved a Russian atmosphere heating facility pumping microwaves into the upper atmosphere while a Chinese surveillance satellite handled the data gathering in orbit, allowing the researchers to gauge the result of their high-altitude experiments.

Russian and Chinese scientists performed a series of experiments this year in a bid to modify a layer of atmosphere known as ionosphere, South China Morning Post reports.

According to the newspaper, the study was performed in order to test a new technology for possible military application, as the facilities like the one used during the experiment could allegedly be used to "modify weather and even create natural disasters" like storms and hurricanes, or even to "affect the operation of human brains".

Sea ice melts on the Franklin Strait along the Northwest Passage in the Canadian Arctic Archipelago, Saturday, July 22, 2017. Because of climate change, more sea ice is being lost each summer than is being replenished in winters. Less sea ice coverage also means that less sunlight will be reflected off the surface of the ocean in a process known as the albedo effect. The oceans will absorb more heat, further fueling global warming - Sputnik International
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However, Dr Wang Yalu, an associate researcher with the China Earthquake Administration who took part in the study, stepped forward to debunk these claims.

"We are just doing pure scientific research. If there is anything else involved, I am not informed about this," she said.

The study reportedly involved a Russian atmospheric heating facility called Sura, built during the Cold War in the vicinity of the settlement of Vasilsursk, injecting “a large amount of microwaves into the high atmosphere” while a Chinese electromagnetic surveillance satellite called Zhangheng-1 collected data from orbit.

The first experiment was conducted on June 7 and resulted in physical disturbances over a 49,000 square miles area at an altitude of about 310 miles, causing “an electric spike with 10 times more negatively charged subatomic particles than surrounding regions.”

The second experiment, performed on June 12, involved increasing the temperature of "thin, ionised gas in high altitude increased more than 100 degrees Celsius" via a particle flux.

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The research team described the results of their experiments as "satisfactory" in a paper published in Earth and Planetary Physics journal, stating that "the detection of plasma disturbances … provides evidence for likely success of future related experiments".

The Russian and Chinese military officials haven’t yet commented on this report.

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