UAE Cloud-Seeding: A Shortcut Or A Remedy For Global Warming


UAE residents are either black or white when it comes to cloud-seeding, you’re either pro-cloudseeding or anti-cloudseeding. There is no in-between about this.

You can argue that playing with nature and artificially inducing rain can lead to unpredictable consequences, however, in a country like the UAE – where it’ll only get hotter with every passing year – cloud seeding comes as a saving grace for residents and the land… but at what cost?

With the UAE receiving less than 100 millimetres of annual rainfall, rain enhancement projects work to improve the country’s ability to address water-stress issues, water-security challenges, agriculture, will further enhance the UAE’s position as a global hub for rain enhancement AND last but not least give us some content for the ‘gram!

But before we get into the impacts of cloud-seeding… let’s first understand what cloud-seeding is all about:

Cloud-seeding is a process that artificially encourages convective, or warm, clouds that have an updraft — or rising current of air — to produce rain.

During this mission, planes are fitted with special salt-crystal loaded flares that are then fired into warm clouds approaching the targetted regions.

The upward movement of air results in clouds sucking up the salt crystals, and the process also attracts tiny particles of water that become heavy and start falling as rain. And turn those fluffy clouds into heavy blobs of destruction.

Fun fact, a rain cloud weighs a good 500,000kgs which is the equivalent of 100 elephants!

Here in the UAE, there are wads of cash (millions of dollars to be specific) up for grabs for the brainiacs who can make it rain

For that, the ‘UAE Research Programme for Rain Enhancement Science’ was launched back in 2015 to support research & tech proposals that boost this field & the programme even offers winning proposals a grant of up to $1.5 million (AED5.51 million). This programme is being overlooked by the National Centre of Meteorology, (NCM).

But in the UAE… when it rains, it POURS!!!

Resulting in floods, damages, hail storms, thunderstorms, lightning storms. It’s a full SCENE.

We want rain in the country… but again at what cost?

We want the moody pics, a boost in agriculture, support for water shortages but is artificially inducing rain and finding loopholes in nature the best idea?

Cloud-seeding only temporarily treats the symptom of global warming, which is ‘heat’ (like a panadol… numbs the pain till it’s in your system)

According to Forbes, “these complicated systems are difficult just to predict, let alone control.”

Have you noticed right after the cloud-seeding effects have worn off, the weather gets super, SUPER hot?! Well it’s not in your head, that is exactly what happens.

Some risks and concerns of induced rain include “unwanted ecological changes, ozone depletion, continued ocean acidification, erratic changes in rainfall patterns” as well as rapid heating when seeding effects wear off. These effects quickly counter the whole purpose of cloud-seeding in the first place, which is to cool down the climate.

At the end of the day… “whose hand would be on the thermostat?”

Forbes concluded their report with the question above, and it’ll have you thinking out loud… who gets to make these decisions? Who will be taking responsibility for the aftereffects if the mission is to go wrong? Are climate modifications and cloud-seeding the only fast-acting remedies to global warming?

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