UAE to build 'fake' mountain to increase rainfall

'Building a mountain is not a simple thing,' says weather modification expert

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The Independent Online

The United Arab Emirates is planning to build a man-made mountain to increase rainfall.

The desert nation is hoping the major project will recreate the effect of mountain ranges and force air to rise, creating clouds that will allow cloud-seeding.

Cloud-seeding is a type of weather modification which aims to alter the amount and type of precipitation produced by clouds.

Scientists from National Centre for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) run by the US-based University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (UCAR) are currently in the "detailed modelling study" phase.

They are deciding on the most effective locations in the Emirate states to build it, while also pondering how wide and tall it should be.

Roelof Bruintjes, an expert in weather modification programs from NCAR, told Arabian Business: "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.

"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."

If successful, these man-made clouds will allow planes to deposit chemicals such as silver iodine, which will increase rainfall.

The UAE already has a permanent weather modification department which spent $385,400 on cloud-seeding last year alone.

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