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Keeping cool at 2022 Qatar World Cup

Qatar plans a portable cloud cooling system for the 2022 World Cup Getty Images

When Qatar won the rights to host the 2022 World Cup, our own Harry Smith wryly noted the grim prospect facing football fans planning to attend the games: 100 degree-plus weather and no beer.

Well, no news to report on the beer front - alcohol is not served due to religious tradition in this Islamic nation. But there may be some relief on the heat front. Scientists at Qatar University reportedly have figured out a way to deploy artificial clouds to cool the practice pitches as well as the official match areas during the World Cup. That would be a welcome development, given how summer temperatures in this Gulf principality typically average as much as 120 degrees Fahrenheit, or 50 degrees Celsius.

The cost is estimated at around $500,000 per cloud. Saud Abdul Ghani, head of the mechanical and industrial engineering department at the university, explained that the clouds would be constructed from lightweight 100% carbon materials and carry a giant envelope containing helium gas. He said that the cloud will move by remote control "fueled by four solar-powered engines and it will fly high to protect direct and indirect sun rays to control temperatures at the open playgrounds."

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