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If the condensation creates large enough water droplets, rain will fall. Rather than chemicals, Meteo Systems used ionization in its attempts to boost rainfall. In theory, ions, or charged particles, attach to the condensation nuclei in clouds and enable them to survive longer in the atmosphere.

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The longer they survive, the more time water droplets have to grow on their surfaces. The company set up five ionizing sites in Abu Dhabi, each with 10 so-called emitters that can send trillions of these cloud-forming ions into the atmosphere.

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Grassl and his colleagues are monitoring the cloud-forming effects by radar, satellite and global analyses from the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts. They have also been tracking local meteorology at all the ionizing sites, and measuring the electrical fields created by the ionizers. Rain gauges that measure the levels of rainfall are less extensive in the region, Grassl explained in a phone interview. That means the scientists must rely upon the other methods to monitor the success or failure of the ionizing sites.

While the humidity makes sense since the scientists were in a desert, it is so low that "you don't expect water condensation, so you must give the water a very, very strong incentive to condense. In work published in in the journal Nature Photonics, Kasparian and his colleagues showed that by beaming ultra-short laser pulses into the atmosphere, they could create water droplets at a relative humidity as low as 70 percent.

Confusion about the 30 percent relative humidity cited in news reports was later cleared up by Grassl. Warner Thomas T. Aridity prevails over more than one third of the land area of the Earth and over a significant fraction of the oceans as well. Yet to date there has been no comprehensive reference volume or textbook dealing with the weather processes that define the character of desert areas.

Desert Meteorology fills this gap by treating all aspects of desert weather, such as large-scale and local-scale causes of aridity; precipitation characteristics in deserts; dust storms; floods; climate change in deserts; precipitation processes; desertification; land-surface physics of deserts; numerical modelling of desert atmospheres; and the effect of desert weather on humans. A summary is provided of the climates and surface properties of the desert areas of the world. The book is written with the assumption that the reader has only a basic knowledge of meteorology, physics and calculus, making it useful to those in a wide range of disciplines.

Much of the Arctic and Antarctic are technically deserts due to extremely low precipitation. Excluding these polar deserts, some deserts are quite cool, even if they are close to the equator. This is the case for much of the Atacama desert. I'm assuming you are asking about those deserts that are hot in the summertime rather than deserts in general. A key ingredient for extremely high temperatures is a desert, but not a high latitude desert, high altitude desert, or coastal desert. Very low precipitation is what distinguishes desert from non-desert biomes.

Lack of precipitation is not sufficient for very high temperatures, as exhibited by the very cold polar deserts and the rather cool deserts that are well outside polar areas. While some of these deserts can be hot during summer, they aren't ridiculously hot. Areas along the coast of the previously mentioned Atacama desert and the Namib in Africa are kept somewhat cool by ocean breezes. These coastal deserts can be uniformly mild year-round.

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What is needed to create the possibility for extremely high temperatures is a desert that is not at extreme latitudes, that is well removed from coastal cooling, and that is at low altitudes. A desert is needed so as to receive the full brunt of solar radiation. Equatorial regions don't work because they tend to be cloudy and rainy.


High latitude areas don't work because they don't receive very much insolation. High altitude areas don't work because temperature tends to decrease with increased altitude.

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A low altitude desert in the horse latitudes is exactly what is needed, and this is why Furnace Creek in Death Valley, California supposedly the hottest place in the world and Tirat Zvi, Isreal supposedly the hottest place in Asia can be very, very hot. The horse latitudes are where the Hadley cell and mid latitude cell converge, creating long-lived high pressure areas where rain is highly unlikely. Most of the world's non-polar deserts are in or near the horse latitudes.

Students strive for deeper understanding of urban desert meteorology

Even better than Furnace Creek are those areas that are so ridiculously hot that nobody sane would live there and hence there are no weather stations. We don't know, for example, how hot it gets in the Lut desert in Iran. It's too hot there for people to fathom, and is almost certainly hotter than is Furnace Creek. The first thing to note is that not all deserts are hot - think Tibet. But there is no doubt that most deserts are distributed adjacent to the hot and wet climatic equator.

This is no coincidence. Because the sun is at or close to being overhead in the equatorial zone, this belt receives the most solar energy per square metre.