The UAE aims to boost water security through rain enhancement research. Courtesy National Centre for Meteorology and Seismology
The UAE aims to boost water security through rain enhancement research. Courtesy National Centre for Meteorology and Seismology

Academic trio with ‘heads in the clouds’ win $5m UAE rain enhancement research grant



ABU DHABI // Having your head in the clouds is usually an unproductive use of time, but for three academics, doing just that has won them US$5 million (Dh18.4m) in research funding.

The UAE Research Programme for Rain Enhancement Science on Tuesday awarded the researchers for projects that expand global water solutions through science and technology.

It is the largest prize in the field and is shared over three years among the winners: Prof Masataka Murakami of the University of Nagoya in Japan; Prof Linda Zou of Masdar Institute of Science and Technology; and Prof Volker Wulfmeyer of the University of Hohenheim in Germany.

“Water is the most important prerequisite for life. The control of clouds and enhancement of rain in arid regions has been the greatest vision of mankind,” said Prof Wulfmeyer, who has studied ways to improve the detection of clouds, improve cloud-seeding and understand where clouds gather.

Cloud seeding is the process of artificially creating clouds to bring about rain through dispersing substances in the air.

“My team is convinced that we can make it a reality by understanding the evolution of rain in clouds,” said Prof Wulfmeyer.

Prof Murakami developed algorithms that can identify clouds capable of creating rain.

“The work we do today isn’t like the old cloud seeding. This is more advanced, and more involved in finding solutions in the way that nature works,” he said.

Prof Zou’s research uses nanotechnology to accelerate water condensation so as to be able to design clouds with more rain potential.

“We have been working on finding solutions to cloud seeding for decades now, but my work is about determining efficiency through using nanotechnology,” she said.

“The work is the first step and now with my research we can build upon it.”

The programme has launched a new website and is accepting a second round of proposals for next year’s funding. But the larger aim is to improve water security through international cooperation in research on rain enhancement.

Research areas addressed in the programme include the fundamental understanding of rainfall enhancement, data modelling, analysis and evaluation, as well as experimental design, technologies and instrumentation.

Alya Al Mazroui, the programme’s manager, said the award was attracting the attention of the scientific community, particularly those working in rain enhancement.

Three hundred and twenty-five scientists from 151 organisations submitted proposals for the award following the programme’s launch last January. Anonymous reviewers from a selection committee then provided feedback to 78 research teams on the strengths and weaknesses of their preliminary proposals.

The committee later selected proposals with creative ideas on cloud forecasting and modification, modelling and the use of advanced cloud-seeding agents.

“We hope that the research projects that were presented in the first cycle will shape the base for the following cycles, paving the road to effective solutions to the issues of global water security,” said Ms Al Mazroui.

The UAE, which has an arid climate, was no stranger to dealing with water shortages and could thus play a leading role in water security, said Dr Sultan Al Jaber, Minister of State and UAE Special Envoy for Energy and Climate Change.

“The world is facing unsustainable demand – 85 per cent [of people] live in the driest places of the planet and 1.8 billion [people] by 2050 will be affected by water scarcity,” he said.

The award winners were ­honoured at a gala dinner at Emirates Palace, held under the patronage of Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs.

“This world-class programme offers a new window of opportunity for the UAE to make a real difference in the global quest for new options and solutions to water security issues,” said Sheikh Mansour.

nalwasmi@thenational.ae

Scores

Oman 109-3 in 18.4 overs (Aqib Ilyas 45 not out, Aamir Kaleem 27) beat UAE 108-9 in 20 overs (Usman 27, Mustafa 24, Fayyaz 3-16, Bilal 3-23)

UAE v Gibraltar

What: International friendly

When: 7pm kick off

Where: Rugby Park, Dubai Sports City

Admission: Free

Online: The match will be broadcast live on Dubai Exiles’ Facebook page

UAE squad: Lucas Waddington (Dubai Exiles), Gio Fourie (Exiles), Craig Nutt (Abu Dhabi Harlequins), Phil Brady (Harlequins), Daniel Perry (Dubai Hurricanes), Esekaia Dranibota (Harlequins), Matt Mills (Exiles), Jaen Botes (Exiles), Kristian Stinson (Exiles), Murray Reason (Abu Dhabi Saracens), Dave Knight (Hurricanes), Ross Samson (Jebel Ali Dragons), DuRandt Gerber (Exiles), Saki Naisau (Dragons), Andrew Powell (Hurricanes), Emosi Vacanau (Harlequins), Niko Volavola (Dragons), Matt Richards (Dragons), Luke Stevenson (Harlequins), Josh Ives (Dubai Sports City Eagles), Sean Stevens (Saracens), Thinus Steyn (Exiles)

Three ways to limit your social media use

Clinical psychologist, Dr Saliha Afridi at The Lighthouse Arabia suggests three easy things you can do every day to cut back on the time you spend online.

1. Put the social media app in a folder on the second or third screen of your phone so it has to remain a conscious decision to open, rather than something your fingers gravitate towards without consideration.

2. Schedule a time to use social media instead of consistently throughout the day. I recommend setting aside certain times of the day or week when you upload pictures or share information. 

3. Take a mental snapshot rather than a photo on your phone. Instead of sharing it with your social world, try to absorb the moment, connect with your feeling, experience the moment with all five of your senses. You will have a memory of that moment more vividly and for far longer than if you take a picture of it.

BAD BOYS: RIDE OR DIE

Director: Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah

Starring: Will Smith, Martin Lawrence, Joe Pantoliano

Rating: 3.5/5

MATCH INFO

Juventus 1 (Dybala 45')

Lazio 3 (Alberto 16', Lulic 73', Cataldi 90+4')

Red card: Rodrigo Bentancur (Juventus)

RESULT

Aston Villa 1
Samatta (41')
Manchester City 2
Aguero (20')
Rodri (30')

Five ways to get fit like Craig David (we tried for seven but ran out of time)

Start the week as you mean to go on. So get your training on strong on a Monday.

Train hard, but don’t take it all so seriously that it gets to the point where you’re not having fun and enjoying your friends and your family and going out for nice meals and doing that stuff.

Think about what you’re training or eating a certain way for — don’t, for example, get a six-pack to impress somebody else or lose weight to conform to society’s norms. It’s all nonsense.

Get your priorities right.

And last but not least, you should always, always chill on Sundays.

Central Bank's push for a robust financial infrastructure
  • CBDC real-value pilot held with three partner institutions
  • Preparing buy now, pay later regulations
  • Preparing for the 2023 launch of the domestic card initiative
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MATCH INFO

Uefa Champions League final:

Who: Real Madrid v Liverpool
Where: NSC Olimpiyskiy Stadium, Kiev, Ukraine
When: Saturday, May 26, 10.45pm (UAE)
TV: Match on BeIN Sports

What is type-1 diabetes

Type 1 diabetes is a genetic and unavoidable condition, rather than the lifestyle-related type 2 diabetes.

It occurs mostly in people under 40 and a result of the pancreas failing to produce enough insulin to regulate blood sugars.

Too much or too little blood sugar can result in an attack where sufferers lose consciousness in serious cases.

Being overweight or obese increases the chances of developing the more common type 2 diabetes.

The specs: Aston Martin DB11 V8 vs Ferrari GTC4Lusso T

Price, base: Dh840,000; Dh120,000

Engine: 4.0L V8 twin-turbo; 3.9L V8 turbo

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Eyasses squad

Charlie Preston (captain) – goal shooter/ goalkeeper (Dubai College)

Arushi Holt (vice-captain) – wing defence / centre (Jumeriah English Speaking School)

Olivia Petricola (vice-captain) – centre / wing attack (Dubai English Speaking College)

Isabel Affley – goalkeeper / goal defence (Dubai English Speaking College)

Jemma Eley – goal attack / wing attack (Dubai College)

Alana Farrell-Morton – centre / wing / defence / wing attack (Nord Anglia International School)

Molly Fuller – goal attack / wing attack (Dubai College)

Caitlin Gowdy – goal defence / wing defence (Dubai English Speaking College)

Noorulain Hussain – goal defence / wing defence (Dubai College)

Zahra Hussain-Gillani – goal defence / goalkeeper (British School Al Khubairat)

Claire Janssen – goal shooter / goal attack (Jumeriah English Speaking School)

Eliza Petricola – wing attack / centre (Dubai English Speaking College)

Results:

First Test: New Zealand 30 British & Irish Lions 15

Second Test: New Zealand 21 British & Irish Lions 24

Third Test: New Zealand 15 British & Irish Lions 15

Major matches on Manic Monday

Andy Murray (GBR) v Benoit Paire (FRA)

Grigor Dimitrov (BGR) v Roger Federer (SUI)

Rafael Nadal (ESP) v Gilles Muller (LUX)

Adrian Mannarino (FRA) Novak Djokovic (SRB)