Gov't use of Chinese drones in limbo as Congress weighs ban
More than a year after the U.S. Interior Department grounded hundreds of Chinese-made drones it was using to track wildfires and monitor dams, volcanoes and wildlife, it's starting to look like they won't be flying again any time soon — if ever. A measure moving through Congress would impose a five-year ban on U.S. government purchases of drones manufactured or assembled in China. It reflects bipartisan concerns that devices made by companies such as DJI, which is based in Shenzhen, China, could facilitate Chinese spying on critical infrastructure.
Scientists in the United Arab Emirates are working towards new methods of weather manipulation in an attempt to bring increased rainfall to the desert country—and so far, it appears the efforts have been successful.
The cloud seeding operation, which uses electrical charges to prompt rainfall, speaks to the growing interest globally in rainmaking technologies as an avenue for potentially mitigating drought.
According to The Independent, the cloud seeding method employed in Dubai relies on drone technology. The drones release an electrical charge into clouds, prompting them to coalesce and create rain. The technology is reportedly favored compared to other forms of cloud seeding because it uses electricity to generate rain rather than chemicals.
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With a few rudimentary modifications, Mexican criminal groups can use commercial drones bought in the US as weapons or to move drugsThe bee-like sound of flying drones has become a new symbol for terror in small Mexican towns like Aguililla in the southwestern Mexican state of Michoacan.
The Middle Eastern country receives an average of four inches of rain per year and summer temperatures that routinely surpass 120 degrees, reported the news outlet. Additionally, its sinking water table—an essential source of fresh water—poses a serious threat. As a result, in 2017, the UAE invested a total of $15 million across nine projects hoping to increase rainfall.
So far, the investment appears to be paying off: according to reports from the country's National Center of Meteorology (NCM), cloud seeding contributed to the heavy rainfall seen across the country earlier this month. According to Gulf Today, both the NCM and Abu Dhabi Police issued warnings to the public, urging caution in the wake of poor visibility and driving conditions.
NOAA urban heat island campaign targets racial inequality
Studies have found extreme heat disproportionately affects people of color. A NOAA campaign plans to map the problem and suggest solutions.Extreme heat waves are more lethal than any other weather-related disaster in America, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). A campaign this summer led by NOAA in cities across 11 states will map the disproportionate stress that heat places on poorer neighborhoods and suggest ideas to alleviate that.
Gulf Today also reported that, since the beginning of 2021, the NCM has conducted 126 instances of cloud seeding.
These types of weather-manipulation attempts are not limited to the UAE: according to a March report, published by The Guardian, several U.S. states are looking into cloud seeding as a way to combat severe drought conditions.
The method employed in the U.S., however, relies on a slightly different technology, in which drones add small amounts of silver iodine to clouds. The particles prompt water droplets to form, thus potentially increasing rainfall.
Research into cloud seeding dates back to the 1940s—however, it's only in recent years that the technology has shown to be effective.
However, it's important to note that while cloud seeding may be beneficial, it will not address the root causes of drought, nor is it a foolproof method.
High winds, tornadoes and drenching rain reported as Tropical Depression Claudette batters parts of Gulf Coast
As University of Colorado researcher Katja Friedrich explained to The Guardian: "It needs to be part of a broader water plan that involves conserving water efficiently, we can't just focus on one thing. Also, there is a question whether you will be able to do it in a changing climate—you need cold temperatures and once it gets too warm you aren't able to do the cloud seeding."
The Scientific American reports that "at least eight states" across the western US are involved in current cloud seeding operations, with the majority of the work taking place in Colorado, Utah, and Wyoming. Also participating are Nevada, California, New Mexico, and Arizona.
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Urban heat islands in Atlanta highlight areas impacted by redlining .
During extreme heat events, a few city blocks can mean the difference between a manageable 80-degree afternoon or a sweltering, 100-degree sweat fest. The staggering temperature difference is due in large part to historical redlining, a federal government-sanctioned effort that began in the 1930s that amplified segregation by denying loans and insurance to potential home buyers in poorer neighborhoods and neighborhoods of color.While the racist practice was banned in the late 1960s, its effect is still apparent.