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Was cloud seeding responsible for the unusual floods in Dubai? Experts are skeptical

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Traditionally linked to dry sand and heavily air-conditioned megacities, many areas of the Gulf region have recently experienced a substantial amount of rainfall. Dubai, located in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), encountered an amount of rainfall in a single day that is equivalent to what it typically receives in a year and a half. This resulted in floods and disorder in the city.

There has been widespread speculation that the torrential rainfall was either caused by or made worse by cloud seeding. This procedure commonly entails dispersing minute particles, such as silver iodide, into the atmosphere to serve as “nuclei” for water droplets to gather around. This process enhances the development of ice crystals, hence augmenting the likelihood of precipitation in the form of rain or snow.

The UAE’s National Centre of Meteorology (NCM) is widely recognized for its regular utilization of cloud-seeding techniques to alleviate the country’s water scarcity issues. Nevertheless, there is no empirical data to suggest that the act of seeing clouds has any correlation with the precipitation that occurred this week. Conversely, meteorologists have observed that the occurrence in Dubai is connected to broader weather patterns.

A mesoscale convective system, which consists of medium-sized thunderstorms formed by sizable thunderclouds, is most likely what caused these storms. This occurs when heat causes moisture to rise into the sky. These weather phenomena have the capacity to generate substantial quantities of precipitation. When they happen across a broad region and in succession, they can result in extremely intense rainfall. According to Professor Maarten Ambaum, a meteorologist at the University of Reading who has researched rainfall patterns in the Gulf region, these events can quickly cause floods in surface water, as demonstrated at locations like Dubai airport.

Currently, there is no technology available that has the capability to originate or significantly alter this type of rainfall occurrence. Ambaum clarified that there had been no cloud seeding operations conducted in this area recently.

The NCM has confirmed this perspective by asserting that no cloud seeding operations occurred during the recent heavy rainfall. The National state-owned daily said that the NCM did not carry out any seeding activities during this occasion.

Cloud seeding requires the deliberate targeting of clouds in their first stages, prior to the onset of rainfall. Once a severe thunderstorm condition arises, it becomes impractical to carry out any seeding operations.

Ensuring the safety of our personnel, aviators, and aircraft is of utmost importance to us. The NCM stated that it does not carry out cloud seeding activities during severe weather conditions.

Cloud seeding frequently becomes the subject of conspiracy theories. In February of this year, a pilot program aimed at artificially inducing rainfall by seeding clouds in California was held responsible for causing two significant storms that struck the southern regions of the state, resulting in the occurrence of floods and landslides. Nevertheless, authorities emphasized that cloud seeding was not conducted during the two significant storms and, moreover, clarified that cloud seeding cannot directly generate storms.

As Editor here at GeekReply, I'm a big fan of all things Geeky. Most of my contributions to the site are technology related, but I'm also a big fan of video games. My genres of choice include RPGs, MMOs, Grand Strategy, and Simulation. If I'm not chasing after the latest gear on my MMO of choice, I'm here at GeekReply reporting on the latest in Geek culture.

Environment

What will happen to Lake Mead in 2024?

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After a record-setting summer of found bodies in 2022 and historically low water levels that cut off the Colorado River’s connection to the sea, Lake Mead still seems to be feeling the effects of climate change and population growth, as its water levels have dropped quickly over the past few years.

Lake Mead is the biggest reservoir in the United States by volume. It provides water to about 25 million people in the area between Nevada and Arizona. At full pool, Mead is 104.6 kilometers (65 miles) long, starting at the Hoover Dam, and can be as wide as 9.3 miles (15 kilometers). It can hold about 36 trillion liters (9.3 million gallons) of water.

But as the environment changes and more people use water, the lake’s size is quickly shrinking. In July 2022, the area had the lowest water level ever recorded, at 317 meters (1,040 feet). The next year, 2023, wasn’t much better. At the end of the year, the water level was only 324 meters (just under 1,065 feet), which was much lower than the regular 365 meters (1,200 feet) seen in the 1980s and 1990s.

As of the beginning of 2024, the lake’s water levels are high, which is a big change from the previous year. Lake conditions looked better at the start of the year than they did at the same time in 2023, when the water level was 325.5 meters (1,068 feet) and rose to a peak of 328 meters (1,076 feet).

Newsweek talked to Jennifer Pitt, the Colorado River program director for the National Audubon Society. “The combined storage of Lakes Powell and Mead, the two large reservoirs on the Colorado River, has declined somewhat since the beginning of the year,” Pitt said.

But “Lake Mead, which receives water released from Lake Powell and makes releases to water users downstream, has since January 1 increased by about 7 percent, or around 600,000 acre-feet.”

Although water levels typically decline in March as summer approaches, this year’s unusually high water levels are projected to persist into the summer due to above-average snowpack levels.

Snowpack is the accumulation of snow on the ground in hilly areas. When this snow melts, it serves as a crucial water source for several lakes and rivers. Elevated snowpack levels in the adjacent mountains will result in augmented water resources when they gradually thaw over the warmer months and stream into the Colorado River, which accounts for 97 percent of the influx into Lake Mead.

Regrettably, this serves as only a transient solution for a somewhat more substantial problem concerning Lake Mead. Despite a promising start to the year, predictions show that water levels at the end of the year will be even lower than in 2023, a year in which higher-than-average snowpack levels also had an impact.

According to a recent 24-month operation plan by the US Bureau of Reclamation, the water levels in the reservoir are projected to decrease steadily for the remainder of this year, resulting in a decrease of 5 meters (17 feet) by December. By 2025, it is projected that the water levels in December may reach a mere 318 meters (1,044 feet), which is only a little more than 1 meter above the unprecedented low recorded in 2022. If the water level of the reservoir ever dropped below the critical point of 273 meters (895 feet), it would be incapable of supplying water to the states of Nevada, California, and Arizona, as well as some areas of Mexico.

The increased supply demands brought about by a growing population, the impact of climate change on rainfall patterns that result in protracted droughts, and the rising rate of evaporation are all having a significant negative impact on the health of this essential water source. Furthermore, the diminished water levels are adversely affecting the quality of the remaining water, indicating that the situation in the area is unlikely to ameliorate without implementing dramatic measures.

Pitt highlighted that the disparity between supply and demand will increase as climate change persists in reducing the size of the Colorado River, resulting in quicker depletion of the reservoirs.

“The decision-makers responsible for the Colorado River are currently engaged in negotiations to establish new regulations for the reservoirs,” she informed Newsweek. “Their ability to effectively manage the equilibrium between supply and demand will be crucial in ensuring a reliable water supply for all organisms reliant on this river.”

Managing the lake is challenging because of its large size. However, the loss of its resources will have a significant impact on millions of people, as it is one of the most crucial reservoirs in the United States.

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11-Year-Old Scientist Creates Lead Detector for Water.

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Genius can show itself in many ways, some people have propositions, others create. It’s all a game of “Who can implement these solutions to a full extent?”. This 11-year-old girl decided to take the matters into her own hands and revolutionized the world of science and health. By creating a lead detector device, this girl contributed to end the massive contamination of the liquids in her region once and for all.

The story begins at Flint, Michigan. An 11-year-old girl named Gitanjali Rao took notice of the water crisis people were having at the time. The drinking water became contaminated with led and caused a major public health crisis.

“I had been following the Flint, Michigan, issue for about two years,” Gitanjali told ABC News. “I was appalled by the number of people affected by lead contamination in water and I wanted to do something to change this.”

When she saw the current solutions that were painfully average and slow at best. The girl decided to step up and fight this, but how? Lead isn’t that easy to detect in contaminated water, right? Well, like any inventor, she made her best effort to make this an easy process for everyone.

She told Business Insider that: “I went, ‘Well, this is not a reliable process and I’ve got to do something to change this,’ ” And so, she went on a quest to find the best solution to the problem.

First, she went to the MIT’s Materials Science and Engineering website to see “if there’s anything’s new,” she read about new technologies that could detect hazardous substances and decided to see whether they could be adapted to test for lead.

Once she found out a project that worked best, she created a device that fulfills one basic purpose: Identify lead compounds in water, portable and relatively inexpensive. And she succeeded.

The device consists of 3 essential parts: There is a disposable cartridge containing chemically treated carbon nanotube arrays, an Arduino-based signal processor with a Bluetooth attachment, and a smartphone app that can display the results. The name? Tethys, like the Greek Goddess of Fresh Water.

How does it work? The carbon nanotubes in the cartridge are sensitive to changes in the flow of electrons. Those tubes are lined with atoms that have an affinity to lead, which adds a measurable resistance to the electron flow.

Once the cartridge is dipped in water that is clean, the electron flow doesn’t change and the smartphone app shows that water is safe to drink. However, if it is contaminated water, the lead in the water reacts to the atoms, causing resistance in the electron flow that is measured by the Arduino processor. The app then shows that the water isn’t safe to drink.

This invention is such a work of art and creativity; it deserves the greatest amount of recognition. And as such, Rao was dubbed “America’s Top Young Scientist” in the Discovery Education 3M Young Scientist Challenge this distinction comes with a check for $25,000, more than enough compensation for saving many.

Here at GeekReply, we hope that this child genius aspires to the greatest of futures. With the recent contributions that have been helping science and health developments. People like this could be a great help for the brighter future of human society.

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Cars

General Motors to Release 20 Electric Cars by 2023

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There have been a lot of new pushes to take the electric cars to the next level. A lot of countries have been approving laws that will decrease the use of fuel cars for the sake of a better future. It seems like General Motors is going to add more to the plans of a greener environment where cars are usually hybrid or electric.

In a push to produce cars powered by batteries or fuel cells, General Motors laid out a strategy to vastly expand the number of electric models in the marketplace. G.M. said it would introduce two new all-electric models within 18 months as part of a broader plan toward what the company says is the ultimate goal of an emissions-free fleet. The two models will be the first of at least 20 new all-electric vehicles that G.M. plans to bring out by 2023.

G.M.’s chief executive, Mary T. Barra, announced in September that the company, America’s largest automaker, expected the industry to move aggressively toward an automotive future with zero emissions, traffic accidents and highway congestion.

“General Motors believes in an all-electric future,” Mark Reuss said at a media event at the company’s technical center in the Detroit suburb of Warren. “Although that future won’t happen overnight, G.M. is committed to driving increased usage and acceptance of electric vehicles.”

He declined to specify what type of new models will be built off the Bolt’s underpinnings, but the chief of G.M.’s electrification strategy, Pam Fletcher, said the company is focusing on the development of sport utility vehicles and car-based crossover models.

There still isn’t a set timeframe for an all-electric portfolio of products, and the company expects to continue making cars and trucks powered by gasoline engines for an indefinite period of time. But at the very least they want to make some progress like many other companies have.

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