United Arab Emirates Makes It Rain With New Weather Control Technology
The United Arab Emirates is experimenting with new technology to zap clouds with electricity to artificially create rain.
This innovative method of weather control is called cloud seeding and similar forms have existed for decades. The process previously used salt flairs which raised concerns for the environment, financial costs, and effectiveness. To address these concerns the UAE is now testing a new method that has drones fly into clouds to give them an electric shock to trigger rain production.
The UAE has overseen more than 200 cloud seeding operations in the first half of 2020, successfully creating excess rainfall. Other countries that have managed to control the weather include the U.S., as well as China, India, and Thailand. In the US a long-term cloud seeding program in the mountains of Nevada increased snowpack by 10% or more each year. A 10-year cloud seeding experiment in Wyoming resulted in 5-10% increases in snowpack. This snow is then used to fuel streams, rivers and produce fresh water sources.
The UAE is one of the first countries in the Arab Gulf region to use cloud seeding technology. The aim of the UAE's project is to change the balance of electrical charge on the cloud droplets, causing water droplets to clump together and fall as rain when they are big enough. The efforts are part of the country's ongoing "quest to ensure water security" since the 1990s. Water security is one of the UAE's "main future challenges" due to climate change, as the country relies on groundwater for two-thirds of its water needs. The country has low rainfall level, high temperatures, high evaporation rates of surface water, and a multiplying population.
The UAE's National Center of Meteorology recently published a series of videos on Instagram of heavy rain in different parts of the country. Streams of water gushed past trees and cars rumbled on wet roads. The videos were accompanied by radar images of clouds tagged "#cloudseeding." The rains are a successful product of the drone seeding program and an unexpected side effect includes cleaner air for all to breathe.