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What’s cloud seeding and did it trigger file rainfall in Dubai? | World Information

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A file quantity of rainfall was stated to have brought about “absolute carnage” in Dubai on Tuesday – with faculties closed, flights suspended and folks working from dwelling.

Greater than 14cm (5.6 inches) of rain soaked the United Arab Emirates (UAE) metropolis on Tuesday – the heaviest rainfall there since information started in 1949, the state-run WAM information company stated.

As individuals in Dubai continue to face disruption as a result of downpours, some have urged the rain may have been brought on by a apply carried out by people often called “cloud seeding”.

Right here we check out what the method entails and whether or not it was liable for Dubai’s moist Tuesday.

What’s cloud seeding?

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The apply is a sort of climate modification course of whereby small planes fly by clouds burning salt flares which might enhance precipitation to assist make it rain.

The UAE, positioned in one of many hottest and driest areas on Earth, has been main the trouble to seed clouds and enhance precipitation.

Dubai airport was flooded

Did cloud seeding trigger the storm?

Following the downpour, a number of studies quoted meteorologists on the Nationwide Centre for Meteorology, the UAE’s meteorology company, as saying they flew six or seven cloud seeding flights earlier than the rain.

Flight-tracking knowledge confirmed that one plane linked to the UAE’s cloud seeding efforts flew across the nation on Sunday.

Nonetheless, the meteorology company advised Reuters information company there have been no such operations earlier than the storm.

It comes as numerous specialists have additionally stated it’s unlikely the downpours would have been brought on by cloud seeding.

Vehicles sit abandoned in floodwater covering a major road in Dubai.
Pic: AP
Automobiles sit deserted in floodwater overlaying a significant highway in Dubai.
Pic: AP

What have the specialists stated?

Sky Information climate producer Chris England stated he doubted cloud seeding contributed to the downpour, because the proof of the apply working is “fairly slim at greatest”.

He added: “Some research have indicated local weather change will convey a rise in rainfall to the realm.”

Friederike Otto, a senior lecturer in local weather science at Imperial Faculty London, additionally stated it was deceptive to speak about cloud seeding as the reason for the rainfall.

“Cloud seeding cannot create clouds from nothing. It encourages water that’s already within the sky to condense sooner
and drop water in sure locations. So first, you want moisture,” she stated.

“With out it, there’d be no clouds.”

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An SUV drives through floodwater covering a road in Dubai.
Pic: Reuters
An SUV drives by floodwater overlaying a highway in Dubai.
Pic: Reuters

Ms Otto added that rainfall was changing into a lot heavier world wide because the local weather warms as a result of a hotter environment can maintain extra moisture.

Professor John Marsham, Met Workplace joint chair on the College of Leeds, stated hypothesis round cloud seeding is a “distraction from the actual story right here”.

“We all know that man-made local weather will increase excessive rainfall – that is effectively understood physics as heat air holds extra water.

“A rainfall occasion such because the one which brought about the Dubai floods, which lined a big space and the place over Dubai a 12 months’s value of rain fell in at some point, can’t occur with out large-scale climate situations driving monumental convergence of water vapour within the environment and so excessive rainfall.

“Any doable impact of any cloud seeding in these circumstances can be tiny.”

Professor Maarten Ambaum, a meteorologist on the College of Studying who has studied rainfall patterns within the Gulf area, stated: “The UAE does have an operational cloud seeding programme to reinforce the rainfall on this arid a part of the world, nevertheless, there isn’t any expertise in existence that may create and even severely modify this sort of rainfall occasion.”

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Cloud seeding to not blame for Dubai floods – professional

If it wasn’t cloud seeding – what did trigger the storm?

Prof Ambaum stated the UAE is characterised by lengthy durations with out rain after which “irregular, heavy rainfall”.

He added: “These storms look like the results of a mesoscale convective system – a sequence of medium-sized thunderstorms brought on by large thunderclouds, fashioned as warmth attracts moisture up into the environment. These can create giant quantities of rain, and once they happen over a large space and one after one other, can result in significantly heavy downpours. They will quickly result in floor water floods, as we’ve seen in locations comparable to Dubai airport.”

In the meantime, local weather scientists say that rising world temperatures, brought on by human-led local weather change, are resulting in extra excessive climate occasions world wide, together with intense rainfall.

Cars hit by flooding in Dubai. Pic: Reuters
Vehicles hit by flooding in Dubai. Pic: Reuters

Esraa Alnaqbi, a senior forecaster on the UAE’s Nationwide Centre of Meteorology, has stated local weather change seemingly contributed to the storm.

She stated the Dubai downpour got here after a low strain system within the higher environment and low strain on the floor acted like a strain “squeeze” on the air.

That squeeze, intensified by the distinction between hotter temperatures at floor degree and colder temperatures greater up, created the situations for the highly effective thunderstorm, she stated.

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