What is cloud seeding... and does cloud seeding have anything to do with floods?

2024-04-18 2024-04-18T09:57:45Z
ندى ماهر عبدربه
ندى ماهر عبدربه
صانع مُحتوى

Arabia Weather - Decades ago, humans began using chemicals to improve the ability of clouds to shed rain and snow. As these technologies escalated, concerns increased about their impact in light of climate change, which is making some areas hotter and drier.

Although cloud seeding has become widespread in some countries, such as the United States and the UAE, it remains controversial due to fears of unforeseen consequences, such as increased rainfall intensity or potential pollution.

While the ongoing debate about modifying and controlling the weather - also known as "geoengineering the planet" - arouses increasing interest, in this article we will learn about the meaning of cloud seeding and its relationship to natural phenomena, most notably floods.

For more:

Cloud seeding in Saudi Arabia and reassurance from experts... How is it done?

What is cloud seeding?

Answer: Cloud seeding is a process in which aircraft or ground generators activate existing clouds by injecting them with particles of salt or silver iodide. These particles help form ice crystals that condense into rain or snow, depending on the heights of the clouds.

According to estimates by the World Meteorological Organization, seeding can increase the amount of precipitation from a single cloud by up to 20%, if ideal conditions are present for this process to take effect.

How effective is cloud seeding?

Answer: The effectiveness of cloud seeding is not generally consistent; Its success depends on the availability of suitable clouds to be affected with chemicals, and this technique is usually successfully tried when targeting rain clouds in mountainous areas, where the goal is to increase the amount of rain.

However, there is mixed scientific evidence regarding the effectiveness of pollination in clouds that may not hold rain, in flat areas and during dry periods, and long-term pollination projects have shown increases in snow density in targeted areas over the Nevada mountains in the United States by an average of up to 10%. Annually, according to a study by the nonprofit Desert Research Institute, similar results have been recorded in the Wyoming Mountain Range and the Sierra Madre, as well as the Snow Mountains of Australia.

Is cloud seeding a dangerous process?

Answer: Because of the increase in use of this technology, the World Meteorological Organization established a special weather intervention team, which issued a warning in a 2023 report about the lack of knowledge about the effects of this technology.

Other concerns include changing current weather patterns at the local level, which could lead to undesirable conditions such as lower temperatures in agricultural areas. The organization’s experts also warn of the toxicity of chemicals such as silver iodide, and stress the need to monitor their use to verify their effects on health and the environment. .

For more:

Emirates | Why did large amounts of hail fall and what weather conditions contributed to this (details)

Did cloud seeding cause Dubai floods?

Over the past few days, Dubai has been subjected to unprecedented floods, which has raised speculation about the effects of cloud seeding. To understand the extent of the unusual rainfall and its causes, Dubai, which is located on the coast of the United Arab Emirates, is usually considered a very dry area, receiving on average less than 100 mm. (3.9 inches) of rain annually. However, heavy rainfall is sometimes witnessed, and for example, in the city of Al Ain - located just under 100 kilometers (62 miles) from Dubai - about 256 mm (10 inches) of rain were recorded. Rain in just 24 hours.

Dr. Abdullah Al-Misnad , former professor of climate at Qassim University and Vice President of the Saudi Weather and Climate Society, expressed his comment about the appearance of green clouds in the sky of Dubai last Tuesday, and the role of rain seeding technology in weather events.

In his analysis of the weather conditions in the Emirates on April 16, Al-Misnad explained through his account on the “X” platform that the appearance of green clouds is due to the presence of a “hot and humid” surface depression that collects and raises humidity, in addition to a “cold and humid” upper depression that performs the same process. Which leads to the condensation of clouds in the upper layers.

He stressed that ideal conditions and factors similar to hurricane conditions existed in South Asia, the Arabian Sea, and the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, which led to the greatness of cloud building, the intensity of storms, falling winds, heavy rain, the darkness of the day, lightning, thunder, and lightning.

He explained that the appearance of green clouds indicates the formation of huge clouds carrying large raindrops, scattering the green light from the sun and giving it a majestic green appearance.

He stressed that the heavy rains and rare floods that the UAE witnessed were a result of these exceptional weather conditions, and that record amounts of precipitation were recorded that the region had not witnessed for decades. In a related context, Al-Misnad denied that rain seeding technology had any role in these weather events, considering that it is a weak technology that cannot Causing such exceptional weather conditions.

Read also:

Gulf countries | What is the green cloud that appeared in the Emirates yesterday, and what is its relationship to large hail falls (details)

Climate change and low rainfall

Regarding the role of climate change , it is not currently possible to accurately determine the extent of its impact in these cases. This requires a comprehensive scientific analysis of natural and human factors, which may take several months. However, record rainfall is in line with expected climate change trends.

A recent study indicates that annual rainfall may increase by up to 30% in most regions of the United Arab Emirates by the end of the century, as a result of the continued rise in global temperatures.

On the other hand, the United Arab Emirates is working to develop strong defenses to deal with these sudden, severe rainfalls, as preventing deadly floods requires preventive measures and great preparedness.

Read also:

Video... An exceptional stormy day that the UAE experienced as a result of the effects of the strongest depression in more than 75 years

In the video...rainwater from inside the Dubai Mall

Video | Historical scenes from the floods of the Sultanate of Oman and the Emirates


Sources:

BBC

sabq

This article was written originally in Arabic and is translated using a 3rd party automated service. ArabiaWeather is not responsible for any grammatical errors whatsoever.
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