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Saudi Arabia is creating fake rain to battle 50°C heat

Saudi Arabia is creating fake rain to battle 50°C heat

The country only receives around 100ml of rain per year

Saudi Arabia isn't exactly known for its wet and rainy seasons, and instead the country can see blistering heat and temperatures of 50 degrees celscius.

Now it's seeking to use technology and science to create 'fake rain' by using cloud seeding to increase and mimic rainfall.

On a yearly basis, Saudi Arabia does not exceed 200 millimeters of rain a year, which can have a devastating effect on the country and vegetation.

Cloud seeding is a scientific technique that involves introducing chemicals to clouds, like small particles of silver iodide, to induce more rain from a cloud.

The result of this is that it can make water droplets gather and then when they clash with one another they can then fall like rain, giving much needed hydration.

Saudi Arabia is investing in cloud seeding to bring in rain for the country.

Saudi’s environment ministry and meteorology centre are looking to create new sources of water and increase green space through the method of cloud-seeding.

In May it was reported that the Minister of Environment, Water and Agriculture and Chairman of the Board of Directors of the National Centre for Meteorology (NCM) Abdulrahman Al-Fadhli had signed an agreement to buy five aircraft for the Regional Cloud Seeding Program.

Cloud seeding is a scientific technique that involves introducing chemicals to clouds.

Four are dedicated to cloud seeding and the fifth is allocated for weather and climate research and studies.

The Ministry’s Undersecretary for Environmental Affairs Dr. Osama Faqiha said Saudi Arabia is the second country in the world to own this type of research aircraft, and hopes the scheme will benefit water resources and vegetation.

Saudi isn't the first country to use this technology, as it's already been rolled out in the United States with Idaho Power.

Idaho Power has previously used cloud seeding to supplement its hydroelectric power generation for nearly two decades.

However it's not fool proof, and some scientists have ruled it out as a viable option for providing rainfall to areas that suffer with high temperatures and long dry seasons.

Scientists have contested the technique as they cite the percentage of precipitation increase provided by cloud seeding as reportedly not very high, with the results being 'mixed'.

The cloud seeding can cause rainfall.

However as climate change continues, many countries are turning to science and technology to help them as temperatures climb and the effect on the environment and agriculture continues.

In 2021, the United Arab Emirates had to turn to drones to combat the searing heat by engineering them to fly into clouds and discharge electricity to kickstart rain in Dubai.

Featured Image Credit: Harri Jarvelainen Photography/Jason Webber Photography