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UAE plans man-made mountain to increase rainfall

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The UAE could create a man-made mountain as part of a project to increase rainfall in the country, according to a report in Arabian Business.

The website said on Sunday that experts from the US-based University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (UCAR), which manages the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR), are in the “detailed modelling study” phase.

The website quoted NCAR scientist and lead researcher Roelof Bruintjes, saying: “What we are looking at is basically evaluating the effects on weather through the type of mountain, how high it should be and how the slopes should be. We will have a report of the first phase this summer as an initial step.”

It added that in collaboration with the National Center of Meteorology & Seismology (NCMS), the UCAR received a fund of $400,000 in February last year to propose a “detailed modelling study evaluating the effects of building a mountain on the weather”.

No location for the mountain was given. The presence of mountains can force air to rise and therefore help create clouds, which in turn can be seeded to help create conditions for rain to fall.

Bruintjes told Arabian Business: “Building a mountain is not a simple thing. We are still busy finalising assimilation, so we are doing a spread of all kinds of heights, widths and locations [as we simultaneously] look at the local climatology.

“If [the project] is too expensive for [the government], logically the project won’t go through, but this gives them an idea of what kind of alternatives there are for the long-term future.” He added: “If it goes through, the second phase would be to go to an engineering company and decide whether it is possible or not.”

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