If all goes according to plan, pretty soon the UAE will be able to implement its plan of increasing rainfall through man-made mountains.
Yes, you read that right.
Scientifically speaking, where there are mountains, the air rises, which in turn will create clouds that can be used for cloud seeding*. Apart from this, mountains can also have an effect of wind, precipitation, and temperature patterns by intercepting the global air circulation around them.
Currently, the plan is still in research mode, with experts from US-based University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (UCAR), which manages the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) doing a detailed study on the physical and financial feasibility of the project. They recieved a funding of $400,000 for this research.
“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.” – Roelof Bruintjes, NCAR scientist and lead researcher
However, the project will not go ahead completely unless it experts come up with a financially viable option to make it possible.
“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. If it goes through, the second phase would be to go to an engineering company and decide whether it is possible or not.”- Roelof Bruintjes
This is one of the many measures taken to increase rain in the UAE. It is also believed that the rain spell that the UAE experienced in the last few months were a result of extensive cloud seeding (around 77).
*Cloud seeding is a process where small planes ‘inject’ clouds with salt crystals to increase the possibility of rain.
*Quotes Source: Arabian Business.