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The 3rd International Rain Enhancement Forum Reveals the Research Results of its First Cycle

As part of the 3rd International Rain Enhancement Forum (IREF), the UAE Research Program for Rain Enhancement Science (UAEREP), announced the results of the research projects of the awardees supported by the program’s first cycle grant.

In the presence of a distinguished audience consisting of VIP dignitaries, diplomats, scientists and stakeholders, Dr. Linda Zou, Professor Volker Wulfmeyer, Professor Masataka Murakami presented the final results of their innovative research that has already done much to advance the capabilities of rain enhancement science and new technologies in the UAE and beyond.

The list of researchers who received the grant of the first cycle of the UAE Research Program for Rain Enhancement Science for creative research projects carried out over the past three years is as follows:

  • Professor Linda Zou, a Professor at the Khalifa University of Science and Technology, has been able to produce, test and evaluate new cloud seeding materials on nanotechnology-based that can increase the number of rain droplets by up to 3 times their original size, at 100% relative humidity, compared to conventional cloud seeding materials. Two patents have been filed for the nanotechnology seeding material, and an examination of potential methods for mass producing the material is currently ongoing.
  • Professor Masataka Murakami, Designated Professor from the Institute for Space-Earth Environmental Research, Nagoya University and a visiting scientist at the Japan Meteorological Research Institute (MRI), has developed new statistical evaluation methods to study the long-term effects of seeding and investigate methods to improve seeding effects, and developed a new database for the National Center for Meteorology on clouds and aerosols specifications in the UAE. This database can be used to validate readings, provide baseline data supporting research supported by the program grant, and to support future research projects. Professor Murakami has also developed a numerical modeling system to simulate meteorological observations and identify rainfall clouds to improve the accuracy of weather forecasts and increase the efficiency of the UAE's mapping operations by increasing the accuracy of cloud targeting, thereby reducing the number of flight hours and the associated cost.
  • Professor Volker Wulfmeyer, Managing Director and Chair of Physics and Meteorology at the Institute of Physics and Meteorology of the University of Hohenheim in Stuttgart, Germany, has developed a high-resolution 3D numerical weather prediction model used for the identification of optimal locations of land cover and terrain modifications to increase rainfall. As well as determining plantation specifications and net water gain, another outcome of the project is expected to be carbon mitigation, thus helping the UAE achieve the climate objectives and CO2 reduction requirements of the Paris Agreement

The forum also received updates on the progress of UAEREP’s 2nd and 3rd Cycle awardee projects, covering a wide range of work including:

  • technical and modeling work in preparation for a field campaign in the UAE to asses potential leveraging of ice production processes in cumulus clouds;
  • the “Optimization of Aerosol Seeding In rain enhancement Strategies” involving modeling for complex environmental situations and simulations of seed aerosol injections within the model;
  • a study of the electrical charges of clouds dealing with equipment development and modelling and measurement capabilities;
  • work to evaluate the sensors and sampling strategies and demonstrate full system capabilities of an autonomous unmanned aircraft system (UAS) designed to enhance precipitation by providing real-time, in situ data;
  • cloud chamber experiments and assessments of hygroscopic seeding effects on warm cloud and precipitation formation for a project entitled “Using Advanced Experimental-Numerical Approaches to Untangle Rain Enhancement (UAE-NATURE)”;

and field work and simulations of updrafts as part of his project to create artificial clouds and rain in a cloudless atmosphere by harnessing solar radiation.