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No, Dubai’s floods weren’t caused by cloud seeding

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By illuminem briefings

· 2 min read

illuminem summarizes for you the essential news of the day. Read the full piece on WIRED or enjoy below:

🗞️ Driving the news: Dubai and other parts of the UAE have experienced severe flash flooding following heavy storms, leading to widespread disruption, including hundreds of flight cancellations and significant social media attention
• The region's cloud seeding efforts were initially blamed for exacerbating the flooding, though experts and officials argue this is unlikely given the complexities and limitations of cloud seeding technology.

🔭 The context: The UAE conducts over 300 cloud seeding operations annually, using techniques intended to increase rainfall by influencing existing cloud systems
• Despite allegations linking these efforts to the recent floods, the National Center for Meteorology confirmed no seeding occurred before the storms hit
• This technology aims to enhance rainfall by up to 25% but cannot generate rain independently

🌍 Why it matters for the planet: Dubai's rapid urban development, characterized by extensive concrete and glass constructions with inadequate green spaces and stormwater infrastructure, reveals a lack of preparedness for heavy rains
• This urban planning challenge is compounded by the potential impacts of climate change, which might be contributing to more frequent and severe weather events

⏭️ What's next: As the debate over cloud seeding and its effectiveness continues, the primary focus may shift towards enhancing urban infrastructure to better handle such natural disasters
• Emphasizing "spongier" city planning could be crucial for adapting to and mitigating the effects of climate change and urban flash flooding

💬 One quote: "It’s exciting to point the finger at a scary technology, but the real cause of the flooding is likely more banal: Dubai is comically ill-equipped to deal with rainfall," reports WIRED.

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