Cloud Seeding and the Journal Barriers to Faulty Claims: Closing the Gaps

This manuscript had a close call in being accepted into the American Meteorological Society’s  Bull. Amer. Meteor. Soc. in 1998-1999.  The key reviewer that I had to satisfy (according to journal Editor  I. Abrams)  insisted that I make it clear that the cloud seeding experimenters in Colorado  and Israel did the “best they could with the tools available at that time”, paraphrasing here.

I couldn’t do it.

I had personal experience with the leaders of both those benchmark experiments; one was intransigent regarding new facts that upset a key claim he repeatedly made about the height of cloud tops in the Rockies during storms, and the other leader denied me access  to his radar to observe cloud top heights (and thus obtain temperatures).  I went to Israel suspecting that his many papers on the clouds of Israel were in major error.  (They were later proved to be in major error  on several occasions over the following 20 years.)

So, how could I agree with the key, “Reviewer B” stating that those experimenters did the best they could?  I might have “got in” by doing that.  Both cloud seeding leaders caused their respective country’s millions of dollars in wasted cloud seeding efforts.

An updated  “Gaps” manuscript was rejected a second time (!) in 2017 or so by the editor of the weather modification/cloud seeding issue of “Advances in Meteorology”, L. Xue, as “not the kind of paper we were looking for.”  Perhaps, though, it’s the kind of article YOU were looking for:

2017 Gaps-revised following comment

By Art Rangno

Retiree from a group specializing in airborne measurements of clouds and aerosols at the University of Washington (Cloud and Aerosol Research Group). The projects in which I participated were in many countries; from the Arctic to Brazil, from the Marshall Islands to South Africa.


  1. Looks like a great contribution to the literature, particularly as it seeks to improve the scientific process. The request by a reviewer to write that the researchers did their best seems odd, as how could anyone know that?

    For the second attempt, maybe L. Xue was not an unbiased editor, as the manuscript cites some work by an L. Xue in an unfavorable light? Perhaps you could resend to the journal pointing this out?

    Art, do you have a new email that you use to communicate with the journals? I couldn’t reach you using the older wildsky addresses.

  2. Merry Christmas Art.
    Hope you continue to post these interesting accounts, and publish more of your work.

    Also, send me an email– the address I have for you doesn’t work anymore.

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