With temperatures in Dubai consistently exceeding 115 degrees Fahrenheit, the government has decided to take control of the scorching weather.
Scientists in the United Arab Emirates are– artificially – using electric charges from drones to manipulate the weather and force precipitation through the desert nation. Weather officials this week released video footage showing downpours over Ras al Khaimah, as well as several other areas.
The new cloud seeding method shows promise in helping alleviate drought conditions around the world, without as many environmental problems as previous methods involving salt flares.
Each year, the UAE receives about four inches of rain per year. The government hopes that regularly zapping the clouds to generate rain will help alleviate some of the arid nation’s annual heat waves.
According to research from the University of Reading, scientists created the storms using drones, which hit the clouds with electricity, creating large raindrops. The larger raindrops are essential in hot countries, where the smaller droplets often evaporate before hitting the ground.
“It is touching to think that the precipitation technology that I have seen today, which is still under development, could one day support countries in water-poor environments like the United Arab Emirates,” Mansoor said. Abulhoul, Ambassador of the United Arab Emirates to the United Kingdom, during a visit. at the University of Reading in May, where he was shown demonstrations of the new technology.
“Of course, our ability to manipulate the weather is weak compared to the forces of nature,” Vice-Chancellor Robert Van de Noort said during the visit. “We realize that as a university we have a big role to play, working with global partners to understand and help prevent the worst effects of climate change.”
In 2017, researchers at the university received $ 1.5 million in funding for what they call “Rain Enhancement Science,” AKA man-made rainstorms. The UAE’s total investment in rain-producing projects stands at $ 15 million, as part of the country’s “quest for water security.”
“The water table is sinking considerably in the United Arab Emirates,” University of Reading professor and meteorologist Maarten Ambaum told BBC News. “And the point of this is to try to help with the precipitation.”
The United Arab Emirates is one of the first countries in the Gulf region to use cloud seeding technology, the National Meteorological Center said. A version of the concept is in use in at least eight states in the western United States, according to The Scientific American.