UAE wants to change weather patterns and increase rainfall by building an artificial mountain that would be large enough to make the air rise and help the country with cloud seeding, a weather modification process designed to increase the amount of rainfall produced by clouds, as reported by Arabian Business.
Rain is a rare sight in the United Arab Emirates, generally falling just a few days in a month. Consequently, severe water shortages are not an uncommon occurrence.
The NCMS’s meteorological department, which conducts operations across the UAE, has already spent $558,000 on cloud-seeding last year. The department has received a fund of $400,000 in February last year to propose a “detailed modelling study evaluating the effects of building a mountain on the weather” in collaboration with the US-based University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (UCAR)
The process of designing and building the mountain “is not a simple thing,” said NCAR scientist and lead researcher Roelof Bruintjes. “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. We will have a report of the first phase this summer as an initial step.”
They first need to ensure that the project is feasible in terms of its cost, before they can move to the second phase and partner with an engineering company to decide whether it is possible or not. Furthermore, potential issues like the rain shadow effect, which produces rain cloud on the windward side of the mountain but keeps the other side extremely dry, have to be considered.
The United Arab Emirates have their share of experience with mega-structures. Still, this project is gigantic even by their standards. Some estimate that the mountain might require as much as one-quarter of the world’s 2015 concrete output.