UAE Plans to Tow Iceberg from Antarctica for Drinking Water… and Rain?

A group from the UAE plans to tow an iceberg from the Antarctic to extract water for its citizens. While the group’s leader also hopes the iceberg will also improve weather patterns and tourism, critics question the efficacy and environmental impact of this plan.

project in beginning of 2018,” Al Shehi said.

After the iceberg arrives at a special processing facility, personnel will chip off blocks of ice for placement in huge tanks, where the water will be processed and filtered.  

Al Shehi said, “This [will be] the purest water in the world.”

The Iceberg’s Impact on UAE’s Weather and Tourism

In terms of priorities for the iceberg, Al Shehi explained, “We want it mainly for the water. It could also be good for tourism and the weather.” 

With respect to improving the weather, The National Advisor Bureau said the average iceberg contains upwards of 20 billion gallons of water. That giant ice block remains 80 percent underwater while it slowly melts. Meanwhile, white ice on the surface reflects the sun and deflects heat. Shehi envisions the melting iceberg’s presence could create a moist microclimate, hopefully prompting rainfall.

Iceberg
Credit: Source.

He wrote to Gulf News that when the icebergs float in the UAE’s hot climate, “cold air gushing out from an iceberg close to the shores of the Arabian Sea would cause a trough and rainstorms across the Arabian Gulf and the southern region of the Arabian Peninsula all year round.” He added, “As the rising air expands, cools and condenses due to the decrease in air pressure … water vapour is collected in the clouds, they become heavy and falls as rain.”


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