Baku, May 3 AZERTAC
The United Arab Emirates is used to building landmasses were there were none before, but creating a mountain from scratch is a whole new level. With hopes that it will encourage raincloud development in a country mostly covered in desert, the UAE is looking to build a full-sized artificial mountain. Desert flatlands make it difficult for air to get the upward climb required to collect into rain clouds, but creating a mountain could help bring a certain amount of rain to the otherwise arid region.
The mountain just needs to increase cloud formation, not necessarily the formation of rainclouds specifically, says Roelof Bruintjes, scientist and lead researcher on the NCAR team. Once clouds begin to form, a meteorological process called cloud seeding increases the amount of rainfall that those clouds can release. But it looks like construction of the mountain itself is still only in the wishful thinking phase.
Before any construction can begin on this artificial mountain in the UAE, the scientists and researchers at the NCAR have been tasked with pricing out the possibility of the project. If the government of the UAE decides that the projected price is feasible (with or without help from the deep pockets of local private investors in cities like Dubai), only then will a team of engineers tackle the project to see if building a mountain in the middle of the desert is physically possible.