Report Reveals China and Russia Collaborated to Manipulate Earth’s Atmosphere This YearDec 26, 2018
China and Russia quietly teamed up in June to conduct experiments on the earth’s atmosphere, it has been revealed.
The tests involved manipulation of the ionosphere above Europe. Reports suggest that scientists measured the potential impact of this manipulation on radio communication systems, with the aim of improving this technology for military purposes.
The collaboration has been labelled “controversial” by some media outlets, causing those involved to defend their motives.
The results of the experiments were detailed in the scientific journal ‘Earth and Planetary Physics’ last week.
Why has this collaboration caused concern?
When two major nations collaborate to experiment with military technology, it will always be monitored closely, especially when the equipment being tested is so powerful.
The ability to tamper with the earth’s ionosphere can not only boost the efficiency of satellite communications, but it can also completely cut it off.
There are concerns that this technology could be used to shut off enemy communications during international conflict. In fact, reports state that multiple European nations suffered from unexplained disruptions to vital GPS systems at the time of the experiments.
It is believed this equipment could also be used to modify weather, perhaps even creating natural disasters such as hurricanes and earthquakes. Some reports even suggest that it has the power to impact how human brains operate.
Dr Wang Yulu, one of the researchers involved with the project, has denied suggestions of any dark motives surrounding the collaboration of the two nations.
“We are just doing pure scientific research. If there is anything else involved, I am not informed about this,” said Yulu, who works as an associate researcher with the China Earthquake Administration.
Another Chinese researcher, who wished to remain anonymous, said: “We are not playing God. We are not the only country teaming up with the Russians. Other countries have done similar things.”
What happened during the experiment?
There were five tests that took place at Russia’s Sura Ionospheric Heating Facility (SURA) in Vasilsursk.
During these tests, electrons were pumped into the sky, causing notable changes to the Earth’s ionosphere.
The test on June 7 reportedly caused atmospheric disturbance across a surface area of around 126,000 square-kilometres (around half the size of Great Britain). This region experienced an electric spike with more than 10 times the amount of negatively-charged particles than surrounding areas.
Another test, taking place on June 12, is reported to have increased the temperature of the ionosphere by more than 212 degrees Fahrenheit (100 Celsius).
The impact of the atmospheric changes was recorded by Changheng-1, a Chinese electromagnetic surveillance satellite.
The results of these tests were dubbed “satisfactory” by those involved. “The detection of plasma disturbances… provides evidence for likely success of future related experiments,” they said.
Russia’s SURA facility in Vasilsursk.
How common are these experiments?
SURA became the world’s first large-scale facility built for the purpose of ionosphere manipulation when it opened in 1981.
The United States military has since launched its own facility in Alaska called The High Frequency Active Auroral Research Program (HAARP), which can generate almost four times more power than SURA. Australia’s Jindalee Operational Radar Network (JORN) conducts experiments using similar technology.
The collaboration between China and Russia for this experiment isn’t completely extraordinary. Both France and the United States have collaborated with Russian scientists at SURA in the past.
Professor Gong Shuhong, a military communication technology researcher at Xidian University, closely followed the Chinese/Russian experiments and deemed that all operations followed ethical guidelines.
“The energy emitted was too low to trigger a global environmental event,” he said.
“Human influence is still very small compared to the power of Mother Nature. But the impact to a small region is possible.”