Researchers see no evidence of weather manipulation – knowledge

The images caused a stir around the world: desert states such as Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Oman are under water. Typically, these countries are known for their heat, dryness and temperatures over 50 degrees.

There was quick speculation as to whether the heavy rain could be a result of artificially produced rain: clouds consist of tiny water droplets or ice crystals. In so-called cloud seeding, chemicals such as silver iodide are distributed into the clouds. The particles accelerate the condensation of water vapor, which then falls to the ground as precipitation. Whether this method can effectively influence the weather is controversial. An Israeli study found the method to be of low effectiveness. Other studies produced similar results.

“The intensity of the rain was record-breaking, but this is consistent with a warming climate”

Experts rule out a noticeable influence of possible cloud seeding in the case of rainfall on the Arabian Peninsula. “The intensity of the rain was record-breaking, but that is consistent with a warming climate,” Richard Allan, professor of climate science at the University of Reading, told the BBC. Inevitably more moisture is created, which makes floods and heavy rain events more and more severe.

The United Arab Emirates National Center for Meteorology (NCM) dismissed speculation about the possible use of artificial rain before and during the heavy rains in a media report.

The Emirati newspaper The National quoted a center spokesperson’s statement: “The NCM did not conduct any cloud seeding operations during this event.” One of the basic principles of cloud seeding is that clouds must be targeted at an early stage. If there is a strong thunderstorm, it is too late to sow seeds.

According to the spokesman, aircraft had “taken samples” in the previous days. But no clouds were vaccinated. Other climate experts also see the betting event as a consequence of climate change.

“If people continue to burn oil, gas and coal, the climate will continue to warm, rainfall will continue to increase and people will continue to lose their lives in floods,” Friederike Otto, lecturer in climate science at Imperial College London, emphasized in the BBC report .

In her opinion, it is “misleading” to focus on cloud seeding in this case. Due to climate change, the atmosphere already contains more water.

According to the NCM, it was the heaviest rainfall in the United Arab Emirates in 75 years. The airport in Dubai – one of the largest in the world – was also overwhelmed by the flood waters.

The operators spoke of a “significant disruption” and a “very challenging situation”. After some flights were diverted and postponed, the airport said on Thursday afternoon that operations would return to normal within 24 hours. In neighboring Oman, at least 20 people died as a result of the rains. There has reportedly been one death in the Emirates – an elderly man died when his vehicle was swept away by water.

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