• Representatives from Saudi Arabia, Thailand, Ethiopia, South Africa, South Korea and the United States share insights and experiences

Abu Dhabi-UAE:– The 6th edition of the International Rain Enhancement Forum (IREF), currently underway in the UAE capital Abu Dhabi, discussed the latest scientific developments in rain enhancement programs and their regional and international implications as part of the Forum’s packed agenda for its second day. Running under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mansour Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Court, the Forum is organized by the National Center of Meteorology (NCM), through the UAE Research Program for Rain Enhancement Science (UAEREP), to tackle pressing water and sustainability issues worldwide.

The Agenda for Day 2 included a session titled “Scientific Advances in Rainfall Enhancement” which was opened by Dr. Ray Johnson, CEO of the Technology Innovation Institute (TII). The session featured a distinguished group of researchers and specialists to examine the importance of sound scientific experimental design in rainfall enhancement studies; scientific advances contributing to cloud formation and rainfall enhancement; the critical characteristics of cloud seeding agents to promote warm-, cold- and mixed phase processes leading to precipitation; and advances in cloud chambers and cloud chamber studies.

Omar Al Yazeedi, Deputy Director General, NCM, delivered the opening speech of the second session of the day titled “Regional and Global Developments in Rainfall Enhancement”. The session offered a brief overview of rain enhancement operations, and shared insights and experiences from various rain enhancement programs locally and globally. The session hosted speakers from Saudi Arabia, Thailand, Ethiopia, South Africa, South Korea, and the United States who outlined the latest findings and takeaways from their respective programs.

His Excellency Prof. Petteri Taalas, Secretary-General, the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), lauded the UAE’s prominent role in advancing the science and technology of rain enhancement globally through the financial and technical support offered by NCM and UAEREP to researchers and scientists from across the globe. He noted that the rain enhancement has proven to be an efficient and sustainable way to mitigate the impact of climate change by producing promising results on the ground.

His Excellency Dr. Abdulla Al Mandous, Director General of the National Center of Meteorology (NCM), said: “Through IREF, we continue to provide a global platform for key decision makers, researchers and specialists in water security and rain enhancement research to discuss the latest developments in their projects, exchange knowledge and transfer technology. This aligns with the UAE’s sustained efforts to promote international collaboration to address water security and climate change challenges, while enabling key stakeholders to move forward with our collective quest to achieve water and environmental sustainability.

For her part, Alya Al Mazroui, Director of the UAE Research Program for Rain Enhancement Science, said: “The growing international interest in IREF validates its status as a global platform for dialogue around our efforts to advance the science and technology of rain enhancement. On its second day, the Forum presented practical ways to step up international cooperation, a key pillar of both UAEREP and IREF. We will continue to work with our partners from around the world to deliver on the Forum’s theme of 'United for Water Security'.”

Drawing the participation of leading experts, researchers and scientists from the UAE and around the globe, the Forum hosts 46 guest speakers and panelists from 18 countries to discuss the regional and global scientific efforts to enhance precipitation, with a particular focus on the progress made by the UAEREP’s elven awardee projects. Panelists also explored ways to strengthen collaboration and step up practical efforts to address water stress and ensure global water security.

On the third and final day of the Forum on 26 January, 2023, the discussions will center on the capacity building of students and young researchers in rain enhancement as a key pillar of the Program and the Forum.