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UAE Research Program team discusses leading innovations in rain enhancement in Finland

Abu Dhabi-UAE: 28 August 2017 – Last week, the UAE Research Program for Rain Enhancement Science hosted a series of meetings with leading Finnish researchers working on climatology and meteorology, measurements and modelling.

Reflecting its growing international status as a rain enhancement leader, the Program held meetings in Helsinki with noted experts and leading scientific institutions this month. The Program team’s visit to Helsinki included a series of meetings and discussions with Professor Hannele Korhonen, an awardee of the Program’s Second Cycle, from the Finnish Meteorological Institute. The team also met with Vaisala, a manufacturer of products and services for environmental and industrial measurement. Vaisala is the world leading supplier for meteorological measurement infrastructure.

Professor Korhonen’s team is currently working on the “Optimization of Aerosol Seeding In rain enhancement Strategies (OASIS)”, which is seeking to quantify the role of atmospheric aerosols in precipitation enhancement. OASIS aims to both advance the fundamental scientific understanding and to provide practical guidance for future field explorations. The project goals are being addressed through a 1-year field campaign analyzing aerosols and their cloud-precipitation interactions in the UAE, combined with simulations with highly advanced aerosol microphysics, quantum chemical calculations, and innovative statistical approaches. The Finnish Meteorological Institute, the University of Helsinki and Tampere University of Technology are carrying out the research.

Alya Al Mazroui, Director of the UAE Research Program for Rain Enhancement Science, said: “We are delighted to have had the opportunity to visit our research colleagues in Finland to strengthen and deepen our already productive research collaboration. Our meetings also allowed us to explore the progress made to date on Professor Hannele Korhonen project and discuss the next steps for this exciting project. Our Program is already internationally renowned for inspiring and innovative research that gave real impetus to the science and technology of rain enhancement. By positioning the UAE as an international hub for the next generation innovation needed to ensure our common water security, we are making a real difference in this crucial field.”

Professor Hannele Korhonen commented that: “The UAE Research Program for Rain Enhancement Science has already played an invaluable role in encouraging the international research networks needed to advance rain enhancement science and technology. Through our examination of the role of aerosols in enhancing precipitation, our project is seeking to break new ground in improving understanding the basic mechanics of aerosol-cloud-precipitation interactions and optimized seeding strategies for rain enhancement. I am very pleased with the Program team’s visit and the opportunity to share updates and insights on the progress to date.”

Launched by the Ministry of Presidential Affairs of the UAE in early 2015 and managed by the UAE National Center of Meteorology and Seismology (NCMS), the UAE Research Program for Rain Enhancement Science has already attained a leading position in the common quest to address water security challenges through effective international cooperations aimed at advancing innovative scientific and technical research and innovation. Offering a grant of 5 million US dollars to be shared by up to five winning research proposals, the Program already generated extensive interest among leading scientists and technologists all around the world.

Reflecting the Program’s outstanding success in building its international profile, this year’s Third Cycle call for research proposals led to 201 submissions being received: these pre-proposals represented 710 scientists and researchers affiliated to 316 institutions across a truly global spread of 68 countries, on five continents.

The success of the Program’s call for submissions confirms the status of Abu Dhabi and the UAE as world leaders in this scientific field. By serving as a hub for an internationally recognized research network, the UAE Research Program for Rain Enhancement Science is moving from strength to strength in facilitating active knowledge transfers needed to ensure sustainable development and economic growth in regions of the world vulnerable to aridity and water shortages.