In a year of smashed global temperature records, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) is turning to technology to turn the tide on the searing heat. As a report by Business Insider points out, in the city of Dubai, which reaches heats of up to 120 degrees F (48 degrees C), scientists are using a special method to make it rain.
Specifically, Dubai is using drones that fly into clouds where they then discharge electricity to kickstart rain, which reduces temperatures and provides much-needed water resources.
The technique — which is a form of "cloud seeding" — was designed to increase the area's low annual rainfall as part of a $15 million project by the UAE aimed at artificially generating rainfall in the country.
Researchers at the University of Reading in the United Kingdom created the specific cloud seeding technology for Dubai, which was designed to take advantage of the UAE's high cloud coverage, despite the low rainfall in the area.
Utilizing an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), similar to a combat drone, pulses of electricity are shot into the clouds in order to get the water droplets in those clouds to stick together "like dry hair to a comb," Professor Maarten Ambaum, who worked on the project, told the BBC in March. "When the drops merge and are big enough, they will fall as rain," he continued.