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Cloud seeding contributes to increased rainfall in UAE



If you think it’s been raining more than usual lately, you’re not wrong. The UAE, like many other countries, has a cloud seeding programme in order to achieve greater water security.

According to the National Center for Meteorology and Seismology (NCMS), they’ve been taking advantage of the weather in recent weeks with regular cloud seeding operations. Dr Ahmad Habib, a meteorologist at NCMS told Arabian Business, “We have been doing cloud seeding during the period which is primarily to enhance the amount of rainfall across the country.”

Cloud seeding is a way to alter the microphysical process within clouds, changing the amount and type on precipitation. In simple terms that means that clouds which may not necessarily have caused wet weather are altered to create rainfall.

It’s an area that the UAE are researching, and the Masdar Institute has filed a patent in the USA to use innovative cloud seeding material.

Masdar Institute Professor of Chemical and Environmental Engineering, Dr. Linda Zou, is the principal investigator of this research project, and one of the first scientists in the world to explore the use of nanotechnology to enhance a cloud seeding material’s ability to produce rain.

“Using nanotechnology to accelerate water droplet formation on a typical cloud seeding material has never been researched before. It is a new approach that could revolutionize the development of cloud seeding materials and make them significantly more efficient and effective,” Dr. Zou said.

A statement on the Institute’s website explains how important cloud seeding can be to water security:  “It also signifies a milestone towards achieving greater water security in the UAE, as rainfall enhancement via cloud seeding can potentially increase rainfall between 10% to 30%, helping to refresh groundwater reserves, boost agricultural production, and reduce the country’s heavy reliance on freshwater produced by energy-intensive seawater desalination.”

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