National Meteorological Center highlights role of cloud seeding in reengineering planet Earth

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  • Abdulla Al Mandous: Cloud seeding is a catalyst for alleviating drought and ensuring sustainability of water resources

Abu Dhabi-UAE – His Excellency Dr. Abdulla Al Mandous, Director General of the National Meteorological Center (NCM) and President of the Regional Association II (Asia) of the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), participated in a panel discussion titled ‘Reengineering Planet Earth’ organized by World Majlis at Expo 2020 Dubai as part of Climate and Biodiversity Week.

In his speech, Al Mandous highlighted the important role of cloud seeding as a catalyst for reengineering planet Earth by alleviating drought, improving water resources and ensuring its sustainability. For nearly two decades, the United Arab Emirates, as part of the progressive vision of its leaders, has made huge investments in the implementation of cloud seeding operations to effectively combat the water shortage.

Al Mandous said: “Weather modification has proven to be an effective approach in reengineering the environment, as cloud seeding can significantly limit global warming and its adverse effects such as droughts. and high water evaporation rates. Cloud seeding is effective in improving microphysical processes within the cloud, helping us to collect more water from the cloud and increase precipitation by a global average of 18%.

He added: “The potential future effects of climate change include prolonged drought in some areas and an increase in tropical storms in others. This requires collective action to prevent the long-term consequences of climate change on future generations. As part of its response to this challenge, the UAE has adopted cloud seeding technologies to address the lack of natural water resources and increase the amount of precipitation. This has enabled the country to adapt to the challenges of drought in the Arabian Peninsula and other arid and semi-arid areas around the world. “

In addition to His Excellency Dr Abdulla Al Mandous, the session attracted the participation of His Excellency Mohamed Nasheed, Former President of Maldives, His Excellency Dr Nawal Al-Hosany, Permanent Representative of the United Arab Emirates to the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), His Excellency Ines dos Santos Costa, Secretary of State for the Environment, Republic of Portugal, Joaquin Ruiz, Chairman and Director, Department of Biosphere 2, University of Arizona, USA and Prof. Paolo Galli, Full Professor of Ecology, Department of Environmental Sciences, University of Milano-Bicocca.

The United Arab Emirates began its cloud seeding operations in 2002 in response to the scarcity of water resources. The country has followed the conventional approach of igniting hygroscopic flares made up of natural salts (mainly potassium chloride) at the base of convective clouds near the ascending core. In the early years, operations targeted frequent summer convection along the northeastern Hajar Mountains. The country’s cloud seed infrastructure then expanded over the years until suitable cloud candidates were targeted year round across the UAE starting in 2010.

In 2015, the United Arab Emirates Research Program for Rain Improvement Science (UAEREP) was established under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates and Minister of Presidential Affairs in order to stimulate and promote scientific progress and the development of new technologies. In the field. The program provides support in the form of managed grants to projects targeting innovative research in cloud seeding and the broader field of precipitation enhancement.

The National Meteorological Center is the entity responsible for implementing cloud seeding operations in the United Arab Emirates. The Center has specialized expertise and state-of-the-art infrastructure including more than 100 weather stations, an integrated network of radars covering all regions of the country, tailor-made aircraft to perform cloud seeding operations and a plant to produce high quality hygroscopic flares for use in cloud seeding operations.

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© Press release 2021


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