• 01.18.13

DIY Geoengineering: A Machine To Create Clouds Above Your Head

If it’s ever just a little too sunny out, this “personal weather modification device” can add a little cloud cover to your day.

Are you a gloomy person? Artist Karolina Sobecka has created the perfect accessory for your feelings: the cloud machine, a “personal device for weather modification” that can literally create clouds above your head.


The machine, created for the Blowup: Speculative Realities event in the Netherlands, can purportedly spread cloud condensation nuclei (tiny particles that seed clouds), water vapor, and heat when it hovers at certain altitudes. This should theoretically create small–but real–clouds.

There is a larger purpose behind this. Sobecka writes on her website: “This method is inspired by a geoengineering technique proposed to create brighter, more reflective clouds which shield Earth from Sun’s radiation, and thus partly counteract the climate change.”

Cloud seeding is one of the most common geoengineering practices. China famously seeded clouds during the 2008 Beijing Olympics in an attempt to prevent rain; in India, cloud-seeding has been used since the early 1980s as a remedy for droughts. Whether cloud seeding can–or should–mitigate climate change is still under debate. Sobecka’s project should help keep the conversation going.

About the author

Ariel Schwartz is a Senior Editor at Co.Exist. She has contributed to SF Weekly, Popular Science, Inhabitat, Greenbiz, NBC Bay Area, GOOD Magazine and more.