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CNN 10 - November 30, 2018

CNN 10

G20 Summit in Buenos Aires, Argentina; Scientists Attempt to Increase Precipitation with Cloud Seeding; Dog Digs Up Wooly Mammoth Tooth

Aired November 30, 2018 - 04:00:00 ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


CARL AZUZ, CNN 10: Breaking news. Friday`s are awesome. We now return to our regularly scheduled objective explanation of world events. This is CNN 10 and I`m Carl Azuz. Buenos Aires, the capital of Argentina is our first stop today. It`s the meeting place of the G20, the group of 20. Leaders from 19 nations plus the European Union representing the biggest economies of the world. All are going to be there. CNN Correspondent Nick Robertson says in terms of international diplomacy, the G20`s like this giant music festival where all the world`s biggest bands are playing.

These nations account for 2/3 of the world`s population, 75 percent of it`s international trade and 85 percent of the world`s economic output. And this is the 10th anniversary of the first G20 meeting. In 2008, leaders met to discuss a response to the great recession. In 2018, they`ll spend Friday and Saturday focused first on issues related to the global economy and they`ll also talk about international trade, agriculture and energy policy. In the past, the G20`s been criticized for having a lot of show but little action. This time around though there are some unique dramas playing out.

One point of tension involves the U.S. and Russia. Their presidents were supposed to meet on the sidelines of the summit this Saturday but U.S.

President Donald Trump cancelled that meeting on Thursday. He blamed Russia`s seizure of three Ukrainian ships during a confrontation earlier this week. Russia still has those ships and their sailors in custody. Trade struggles between the U.S. and China. Britain`s plan to leave the European Union and Saudi Arabia`s response to the killing of a Saudi journalist in Turkey. All of these topics are going to be closely watched at the G20.

10 Second Trivia. Which of these cloud types is typically found at the highest altitude? Cirrus, Stratus, Nimbostratus, or Cumulus. The highest flying clouds here are cirrus clouds which can be found at altitudes of 20,000 to 40,000 feet.

Carl, are you cirrus? I`m cirrus. Now it`s hard to measure the effectiveness of cloud seeding. That`s adding a chemical to clouds to increase rain or snowfall. The weather doesn`t follow human plans, and getting the right conditions for repeated scientific studies is hard to do.

But though the side effects of cloud seeding are still unknown and though it`s also not clear if there`s an economic benefit to doing so, new science is shedding light on its potential.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It`s almost if you guys are creating clouds of nowhere. You actually target storm systems.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If there`s no clouds in the sky that have any moisture in them, we can`t do anything. But what we can do is tap into what`s there and assist mother nature.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Kind of like a steroid kick for the clouds or something.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Exactly.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: In all of its forms, water powers our very existence. A droplet`s epic journey from sky to sea is an elegant loop that sustains all life on this planet. But today, about 1 billion people are living in water scarce areas. In the United States, there`s California where in one single year a historic drought cost the state over 10,000 jobs and nearly $2 billion in lost revenue. But what if we could hack into the water cycle and unlock more precious water from the clouds? A decades old technology long shunned by science may hold the key.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Since the 1946 experiments of Dr. Vincent Schafer, we have known that some clouds can be modified through seeding to yield additional precipitation.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What exactly is cloud seeding?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Cloud seeding is really an enhancement of the natural precipitation process.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: So basically you`re just making the storm more efficient. Getting more moisture out of it.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Exactly. Yes.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: To do that, pilots target clouds full of moisture and eject small amounts of an inert chemical. Then the water in the cloud condenses around the new particles and gets heavy falling to the ground as precipitation. Brian Kindred (ph) is one of the company`s pilots. He steers right into the heart of storms to fire off a special kind of pyrotechnic. And what`s inside of these guys?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It`s a silver iodide mixture. The idea is that will be above some liquid water and as it`s falling through it will turn into snow so it can fall out of the cloud.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Since the 1940s`, people have been seeding clouds and watching the effects with their own eyes but there`s always been something missing. The cold hard scientific evidence to back it up. In 2017 the National Science Foundation funded a study to determine cloud seeding`s effectiveness. Weather Modification International provided the planes. A team of scientists set out into the Idaho mountains with doppler radars and state of the art weather stations to record what happens on the ground when planes above are cloud seeding.

Radar images show how ice crystals formed in the clouds in the exact pattern that Weather Modification`s pilots were flying. But there`s still questions about it`s long term effects. How does making it rain in Idaho affect what happens a state over? Who owns the precious water in those clouds? And the effects of silver iodide on the environment are still debated. For now, national weather bodies have yet to endorse the practice of cloud seeding. I think that people get a little anxious when they hear about people, sort of, playing the weather god. Which in a way, you guys are kind of doing here.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We`re not really playing God. I think that`s really overstating what we`re doing. Human activity effects the weather all of the time. We`re being very specific and targeted and environmentally friendly in what we`re doing to enhance the national - - natural precipitation. Enhance the natural process.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It turns out that some companies will pay millions to enhance the weather. Companies like Idaho Power. The company serves more than 500,000 customers with a network that includes 17 hydroelectric power plants. To them, water is money. Let`s do this. Idaho Power has invested over $3 million in a cloud seeding program to increase the snow pack at the state`s highest peaks. Why is it so essential to increase the snow pack up here?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Because we`re on the front end and the top end of the food chain for water.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So that`s what feeds our streams and rivers and feeds our hydro system later in the summer and fall. And that`s really when we need that extra energy.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: How much precipitation are we talking about in regards to the increase of snow pack as a result of these systems?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We`re seeing generally in that 8 to 15 percent increase.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: How many homes can that power? Like, what are you getting out of that?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: On average that`s an excess of 60,000 homes.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: According to Idaho Power, last years cloud seeding program has provided a 300 percent return. That`s $9 million worth of water that otherwise might have never fallen on these mountain tops.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Again, man looks to his own efforts to increase the flow of water and once again clouds are forming in the mountains.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CARL AZUZ: It`s one thing to give a dog a bone. It could be historic when he digs one up himself. This is Scout and this is what he recently scouted out while digging in his backyard. His owner thought it might have been a rock or petrified wood. But scientists that looked at photos of it think it`s a 13,000 year old woolly mammoth tooth. And while the owner gets to keep it, Scout`s going to have to find something else to chew on.

Well it wasn`t squeaky anyway and if Scout digs digging whenever he`s "scouting" about who knows what other bones he`ll retrieve. There could be a "skeleton" of them waiting to surface. It`s just "woolly" sad he`ll have to give up "mamm-oth" of them. The "artifacts" are sometimes the cold hard "tooth". I`m Carl Azuz for CNN 10. Hope you find some fun this weekend.

END