The 2022 World Cup has been awarded to Qatar, a country that averages 41 degrees Celsius (106°F) during June and July when the tournament is held.
There aren’t too many spectators that will be able to keep up their team spirit in that kind of heat, so organizers have been looking for a creative solution to help block the sun’s sizzling rays.
A group of engineering scientists from Qatar University have taken a cue from Mother Earth and “reportedly developed a type of artificial “cloud” designed to float above the World Cup venues and provide fans and players with relief from the blazing sun” (Gizmag).
Saud Abdul Ghani, head of the mechanical and industrial engineering department at Qatar University, told Gulf News the ‘clouds’ are made from a lightweight carbon structure carrying a giant envelope of material containing helium gas (Daily Mail). The “cloud” would feature solar powered engines that would allow it to be moved via remote control.
Apparently, the “cloud” will cost around $500,000 to build initially, but the engineers say subsequent clouds could be cheaper. Qatar officials say they already plan on installing solar-powered air conditioning systems that will be capable of reducing temperatures inside by up to 20°C (36°F), but concerns remain about training grounds.
The 2022 World Cup is still over a decade away, and no final decision has been made to proceed with production of the artificial clouds at this time. Qatar beat out bids from Australia, the United States and 2004 World Cup co-hosts Japan and South Korea to host the 2022 tournament.
Image: Artist's illustration of the proposed Al-Shamal Stadium to be built in Ash-Shamal, Qatar for the 2022 World Cup