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Unraveling the Controversy Surrounding Cloud Seeding: A Closer Look at Weather Modification in the UAE



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The technique of cloud seeding has a long history, dating back to the 1940s, with its use in several countries and states. The practice of cloud seeding, seen as a potential solution for regions facing water scarcity, involves enhancing clouds’ ability to produce precipitation.

Clouds form when water vapor condenses around tiny particles or nuclei in the atmosphere. Cloud seeding introduces additional particles like silver iodide or salt compounds to increase precipitation. This process can boost rainfall by up to 10% or more, benefiting agriculture and water resources.

Meteorologists carefully monitor weather conditions to ensure safe and effective cloud seeding. Precautions are taken to avoid flooding risks or excessive snowfall, with a focus on maximizing the technique’s benefits while minimizing potential drawbacks.

The United Arab Emirates has been actively involved in cloud seeding since the 1990s, with the National Center of Meteorology overseeing the country’s operations. Through advanced technology and multiple weather stations, the UAE conducts cloud seeding missions to enhance precipitation in arid regions.

In a recent field campaign in the UAE, three different cloud seeding methods were tested: Nanomaterial Seeding, Large Salt Particle Seeding, and Conventional Hygroscopic Flares. These techniques aim to optimize rainfall in desert areas and mitigate water shortages through innovative weather modification strategies.

Ahmed Habib, a specialist meteorologist with the NCM, highlighted the success of recent cloud seeding missions preceding heavy downpours. Critics, however, have raised concerns about the impact of artificial seeding on extreme weather events, such as the recent deluge in Dubai.

While cloud seeding may have contributed to increased rainfall, experts like meteorologist Jeff Berardelli emphasize other factors, such as desert dust suspended in the air, in influencing weather patterns. Understanding the complexities of weather modification and its effects remains a key challenge in the ongoing debate surrounding cloud seeding practices.

Rachel Adams

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