UAE to open call for projects on cloud seeding

Research program of the Arab country supports projects that study how to enhance rain volume and frequency in a desert region.

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São Paulo – The United Arab Emirates Research Program for Rain Enhancement Science (UAERep) announced last Tuesday the results of the second cycle awardee research projects. The announcement was made during the 4th International Rain Enhancement Forum (pictured) in Abu Dhabi. The Forum was organized by UAEREP under the supervision of National Center of Meteorology (NCM).

On the occasion, UAEREP also revealed that the call for innovative project proposals will target new research areas. The last call for researches – the third one – was in 2017. The all for entries for the fourth cycle will open in early 2021. The program will have a new structure and evaluation criteria to be announced later this year.

During the third call in 2017, Brazil was one country that stood out among the projects with three researches registered, but none was chosen to receive the institute’s grant.

NCM director said that the program is an effective platform to address water security challenges in arid regions around the world. “The awardee projects supported by the program have achieved important milestones in advancing rain enhancement science and cloud seeding operations as a viable alternative to augment rain and achieve global water security. In its upcoming cycle to be announced at the beginning of 2021, we look forward to receiving innovative project proposals that can bring about a transformational impact on rain enhancement science on a global level,” he was quoted as saying in a press release.

Results

The project results unveiled this week were carried out by the awardees of the second cycle grant, including dr. Paul Lawson, at research institute SPEC Incorporated, USA; professor Hannele Korhonen, the director of the Climate Research Program at Finnish Meteorological Institute; and Giles Harrison, professor of atmospheric physics at the University of Reading in the United Kingdom.

Professor Korhonen carried out the project titled “Optimization of Aerosol Seeding in Rain -Enhancement Strategies.” The research resulted on a dataset about the characterization of aerosols – fine solid particles or liquid droplets. The data is being used to simulate aerosol-cloud interactions and their rainfall effects during 12 identified weather events. This project will serve as base for a statistical emulator that will help determine the most suitable materials for rainfall formation and precipitation.

As for Professor Harrison’s project, it focuses on electrical aspects of rain generation. In collaboration with the Khalifa University Center for Autonomous Robotic Systems in the UAE, his team has identified sites for a drone campaign in 2020 that aims to understand cloud and fog formation over the UAE. The findings of the project will support cloud seeding operation based on electrical measurements of clouds as electrical seeding approach will help stimulate the rainfall.

Lastly, dr. Lawson and his team have worked on a project to identify cumulus clouds – low-level clouds – suitable for cloud seeding. They evaluated, for example, the use of hygroscopic seeding materials, which absorb the water. This project provided physical measurements of cloud properties at various stages over the UAE in both natural and post-seeding conditions. The results will help determine the benefits of hygroscopic seeding and its role in developing cloud microphysics scheme.

Translated by Guilherme Miranda

Press Release

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