Whether it be flighting electrically charged drones to make it rain or releasing sulphur dioxides into the atmosphere to reflect sunlight, nations and non-state actors are increasingly looking to geoengineering technologies and techniques to save humanity from the worst impacts of the climate crisis.

On a globe already pockmarked by extreme weather events, a mere .4°C away from the thresholds of “dangerous climate change”, nations as well as non-state actors are increasingly looking to technology to pivot humanity from self-imposed disaster on to the path toward salvation.

Scientists say, however, that while possible, there are immense political, economic, ecological, ethical and other societal considerations to be aware of when tinkering with global climate.

Much like South Africa, where multi-year droughts and heat waves are expected to be the most significant climate-change-related challenge, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) is also threatened by extreme temperatures and reduced rainfall. Its National Center of Meteorology has been testing “rain-enhancement” technology to “seed” clouds and tackle the impacts of climate change head-on.

High above the dunes and cityscapes of the UAE, in the skies above Abu Dhabi and Al Ain, drones have been flying among the clouds, releasing electrical charges aiming to merge water droplets,…

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