Meteorological experts are expected to carry out as many as 300 cloud-seeding missions across the United Arab Emirates in 2024 to encourage rainfall and tackle water scarcity.
The UAE Research Program for Rain Enhancement Science – National Center of Meteorology (UAEREP-NCM) – the task force behind the country’s cloud-seeding program – told Al Arabiya English that the UAE, located in one of the hottest and most arid regions on earth, has been leading the effort to seed clouds and increase precipitation for more than 23 years.
In the UAE, the confluence of climate change impacts and a burgeoning population has intensified the pressure on water resources. This escalating demand has propelled the UAE, traditionally dependent on desalination plants utilizing seawater, into a critical juncture.
Rising global temperatures and shifting weather patterns have exacerbated water scarcity issues, placing additional strain on the UAE's already limited freshwater sources. As the population continues to grow, the urgency to address the mounting water demands has become more pronounced.
“The UAE carries out nearly 300 cloud-seeding missions each year, and the frequency can vary based on factors such as weather patterns, cloud availability, and climatic conditions,” an NCM official told Al Arabiya English, adding a “roughly” similar number of missions is likely to be carried out in 2024, depending on the availability of “amenable clouds.”
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