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Dubai copes with 125 degree heat by using laser beam drones to push rainwater out of clouds


The UAE uses drones to electrify clouds to produce rain in an attempt to increase the amount of precipitation they receive each year. Shutterstock

  • Dubai makes it rain with drones that shoot laser beams into the clouds to cause precipitation.

  • It works like a cattle goad for the clouds, forcing small water droplets to come together to create large ones.

  • Dubai receives four inches of rain per year and has seen temperatures soar to 125 degrees in June.

  • Visit the Insider homepage for more stories.

The Dubai National Meteorological Center has found a new way to make it rain. They use laser beam drones to artificially generate precipitation.

Last week, the country’s meteorological service released two videos offering proof of heavy downpours on the streets of Dubai.

Here’s how it works: Drones project laser beams into clouds, charging them with electricity. The charge causes precipitation by forcing the water droplets together to create larger raindrops, essentially electrifying the air to create rain.

Last March, the BBC reported that the UAE was looking to test drone technology, which it developed in collaboration with the University of Reading in the UK.

Artificially generated rain is crucial as Dubai only receives an average of four inches of rain per year. This makes farming difficult and forces the country to import over 80% of its food.

It also doesn’t help with the sweltering temperatures in the country. On June 6, for example, Dubai recorded a sweltering temperature of 125 degrees Fahrenheit.

Dubai’s rain-producing technology is not entirely different from cloud seeding, which has been used in the United States since 1923 to combat prolonged periods of drought. Seeding clouds requires crushed silver iodide, a chemical used in photography, to help create clumps of water in the air.

According to a Forbes report, the UAE has invested in nine rain improvement projects in recent years, which have cost around $ 15 million in total. Most of these projects have involved traditional cloud seeding techniques.

Critics of drone technology fear it may unintentionally cause massive flooding. And they’re also worried about the privatization of such technology, according to a Forbes report.

In the United States, innovative solutions to the extreme effects of climate change have been explored. Billionaire Bill Gates is supporting the development of sunlight dimming technology that could help achieve a global cooling effect by reflecting the sun’s rays from the planet’s atmosphere.

Meanwhile, more than 80 wildfires break out across the United States, devastating communities and destroying homes. On July 13, Death Valley in California recorded a high temperature of 128 degrees Fahrenheit, the hottest temperature record on Earth since 2017.

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