The United Arab Emirates is studying its options for building a man-made mountain to address the lack of rain in the area by maximizing rainfall. The project is in its first stages, so any specific location or altitude for the artificial phenomenon is still unknown.

Right now experts are during the “detailed modelling study” phase and it is being made by members from the US-based University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (UCAR).  Which manages the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR), according to Arabian Business.

UAE deals with environmental issues
The UAE is a small country located in the eastern part of the Arab world, on a mostly desert stretch of land surrounded by the Persian Gulf and the Arabian Sea. Image Credit: Chronicle Fanack

“What we are looking at is basically evaluating the effects on weather through the type of mountain, how high it should be and how the slopes should be,” said lead researcher Roelof Bruintjes. “We will have a report of the first phase this summer as an initial step,” he added.

The UAE territory is a very dry area, where the average temperature for its most important cities. Dubai and Abu Dhabi, can range from 100 to 107 degrees Fahrenheit during summer, while suffering from no rain at all or very few, as reported by the Washington Post.

According to Hans Ahlness, vice president of operations for Weather Modification, Inc., a company that has performed cloud seeding in the UAE and other Middle Eastern countries. The man-made mountain can help precipitations by lifting air masses higher into the atmosphere through orographic lifting.

When air and clouds are forced into higher elevations, there is a better chance they will precipitate and produce rainfall, Ahlness told to The Christian Science Monitor. This clouds are an ideal target for cloud seeding, which is the injection of an artificial substance into the cloud to promote rain.

However, while one side of the mountain could be benefit by the precipitation, the other side would be drier due to the rain shadow effect, Ahlness added. This is the reason why a deep analysis for the area to be chosen has to be made, because if the air and clouds in the UAR region are already so dry, the effect is unlikely to take place.

Previous attempts to address water issues

The past few years the UAE has been creating more rainfall by using seeded clouds, in fact about $558,000 has been spent on 186 cloud seeding missions across the nation last year and others $5 million were granted for research related to the technology.

The attempts have been worked even much better than expected. There was a record for rainfall in March that was partially attributed to cloud seeding, it was over of 11 inches falling in less than 24 hours. However, as the results were not completely predicted, canceled flights and flooding were present due to the unexpected heavy rains.

Source: Arabian Business