United Arab Emirates may build a mountain to increase rainfall!
With oil revenues drying up, can the UAE afford a mountain?
Dubai: After making Burj Khalifa kiss the sky, the Sheikhs of United Arab Emirates have set their eyes on another audacious mega-project – 'building' a mountain!
And what for? To bring rain to the desert nation!!
According to a report in the Arabian Business, the UAE government has contracted the US-based National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) to study how a man-made mountain will help increase rainfall in the arid region.
"What we are looking at is basically evaluating the effects on weather through the type of mountain, how high it should be and how the slopes should be," Roelof Bruintjes of NCAR told Arabian Business.
Mountains do play an important role in precipitating rainfall as they block moist air reaching it and pushes it up, leading to its cooling – the air may then condense and turn into liquid and fall as rain.
For a country like the UAE that gets not more than a handful of rainy days in a year, the plan makes perfect sense – at least in theory.
So what's the cost?
The Netherlands, also a flat country, had planned a similar project in the past. And the cost for a hollow 1.2 mile-high mountain was calculated at $230 billion.
With oil revenues drying up, can the UAE afford a mountain remains to be seen...