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8th of September 2021
Cloud Physics at Marsfield
Recent maintenance and repair work at Marsfield involved removing panels from the offices along what is now known as the "Astro corridor". The backs of the panels revealed these rooms were formerly the Cloud Physics Lab! The Division of Cloud Physics was formed in 1972 from a research group within the Division of Radiophysics. Investigation of rain and cloud physics was initiated after the Second World War by Taffy Bowen, the Chief of the Division of Radiophysics, and led by him until his retirement in 1971. The Division of Cloud Physics ceased operations in April 1983 when it merged with the Division of Atmospheric Physics to form the Division of Atmospheric Research. Paul Holper summarised the research in 2001: "CSIRO has shown that in Australia cloud seeding is effective only in a limited number of weather conditions. Cloud seeding will never break droughts; cloudless skies will never produce rain. In fact, many types of clouds cannot be successfully seeded. Cloud seeding is most likely to be effective when used on cumulus or stratiform clouds in air forced up over mountains."

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