American intelligence experts raised concerns that severe droughts in the U.S. might be a form of warfare from other nations.
"The CIA was worried that hostile nations were trying to control the world's weather, it has emerged. U.S. government agents were so concerned that they contacted a leading environmental expert to ask how any attempts could be detected," the Daily Telegraph reported.
One expert who fielded the question was Rutgers University Professor Alan Robock.
"[He] said consultants working on behalf of the American security agency rang him to ask whether foreign countries could be triggering droughts and flooding," according to the report.
Robock continued, per the Daily Mail: "‘Of course they were also asking — if we control someone else’s climate would they then know about it." He told the CIA that large-scale attempts to modify the weather would be detectable.
The U.S. has used weather modification as weaponry in the past, according to Robock.
"During the Vietnam War, U.S. scientists tried to increase rainfall to hamper the enemy’s progress by spraying particles into the clouds. And the CIA seeded clouds over Cuba to make it rain and ruin the sugar harvest," the Daily Mail reported.
Robock warned against dangers that could ensue if nations try to use weather modification as a form of warfare.
"I think this research has to be open and international, so there isn’t any question of using it for hostile purposes," he said, per the report.
"If one country wants to control the climate in one way, and another doesn’t want it or if they try to shoot down the planes...if there is no agreement it could result in terrible consequences," he continued.
Meanwhile, U.S. experts are studying how weather modification could be useful on the domestic front.
The U.S. has investigated ways to reduce the impact of hurricanes in the Gulf of Mexico, the Washington Post recently reported. Applying weather modification to drought may seem impossible, but the prospect is being explored.
What would that look like? "Flooding Death Valley with seawater via a canal from the Pacific Ocean or wrapping Greenland with blankets to capture freshwater ice," among other possibilities, the report said.