One Cool Thing: UAE Launches Cloud-Zapping Drones

Image: Jacek Halicki via Wikimedia Commons

The United Arab Emirates has developed a new solution to mitigate heatwaves and drought. Cloud-zapping drones could be the key to manufacturing rainfall, and testing has already begun. Previous methods of cloud-seeding using salt flares have raised questions about environmental safety, but this new method doesn’t use chemicals. Instead, it zaps clouds with electricity, triggering rain production.  

Cloud-seeding has been employed in the U.S. for years, resulting in improvements to rainfall and snowpack. In Russia, crews are using cloud-seeding to fight devastating Siberian wildfires. Researchers in the UAE hope that this new cloud-seeding method could be used to secure water for populations in arid climates, fight wildfires, improve air quality, and more. So far, results look promising, with recent tests bringing in heavy rains. The National Center for Meteorology emphasized, “while most of us take free water for granted, we must remember that it is a precious and finite resource.”

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