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Cloud Seeding Controversy Swirls as Dubai Floods

April 18, 2024
Dubai Floods

While Dubai reels from record-breaking floods, social media has been awash with misleading claims blaming the extreme weather solely on cloud seeding operations. Experts strongly refute this, emphasizing the crucial role of climate change alongside a unique weather system that caused the deluge.

Rare Weather System, Amplified by Warming

A “cut off” low-pressure system trapped warm, moisture-laden air over the region, leading to torrential downpours. While Dubai’s arid climate makes such events infrequent, scientists warn they are becoming more intense due to climate change. Warmer air holds more moisture, potentially fueling stronger storms and heavier rain events.

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Cloud Seeding: A Scapegoat?

While the UAE employs cloud seeding to increase rainfall, experts stress that the scale and intensity of this storm make it highly unlikely that cloud seeding played a significant role. Furthermore, weather models had forecast the potential for severe flooding days in advance, with or without cloud seeding.

The Need for Adaptation

This event underscores the urgent need for climate adaptation. Dubai’s highly urbanized landscape leaves little room for natural water absorption. Experts are calling for a revamp of infrastructure, including better drainage and water storage systems, to cope with the increasing likelihood of extreme rainfall events in a warming world.

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