|20 November, 2019

No, cloud seeding isn't behind the unstable weather

If anything is to blame, it's the forces of nature and the recklessness of humans that's causing global climate change

Image used for illustrative purpose. The Dubai skyline with Burj Khalifa (C) is seen during the late afternoon from the Sheikh Zayed highway March 28, 2010.

Image used for illustrative purpose. The Dubai skyline with Burj Khalifa (C) is seen during the late afternoon from the Sheikh Zayed highway March 28, 2010.

REUTERS/Jumana ElHeloueh

The UAE has witnessed an unstable weather pattern over the past few weeks, and life has been thrown out of kilter on more than one occasion. Just look at the havoc that this weather pattern has caused - we've published some images in today's edition of Khaleej Times; also check out the photo galleries on khaleejtimes.com. Schools have been ordered shut, office goers have faced problems reaching their workplaces thanks to the water-logging and traffic issues, public transport is in slight disarray with commuters facing detours and delays, malls have had water trickling in, and the National Emergency Crisis and Disaster Management Authority has warned residents to remain alert in order to preserve lives and properties.

Why on earth would anyone think that all this is being done deliberately? A piece of news in a local media platform yesterday cited cloud seeding as the reason behind the unstable UAE weather - besides being wrong and uninformed about what cloud seeding can and cannot do, it is also hugely unfair to the UAE's rain enhancement programme. How oblivious we can be about our country of residence? While we may not completely grasp the local conditions, that shouldn't stop us from making an effort to understand it. Ask an Emirati or anyone who has grown up here or spent a few years in the UAE - the weather we're witnessing right now isn't alien to the region. It is something that recurs every year, with varying degrees of impact.

Indeed, the UAE has a very far-sighted rain enhancement programme and the country is making rapid progress in further research and development, but it remains a rain enhancement programme. It's pure science - not some hocus pocus that can conjure winds, cyclones, and cook up a low-pressure weather pattern in the region. As a spokesperson of the National Centre of Meteorology confirmed to KT, this is a 'season of rain, which is coming from the Mediterranean Sea'. Sure, the several cloud-seeding missions recently undertaken by the UAE have resulted in the precipitation of the clouds, which may have otherwise blown away. But cloud seeding isn't to blame for the unstable weather pattern and the debris flying around. If anything is to blame, it's the forces of nature and the recklessness of humans that's causing global climate change.


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