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Humans can control weather using lasers, claim scientists

Last Updated: Wednesday, August 28, 2013 - 19:07

London: Humans can manipulate and control the weather by seeding `artificial` clouds, inducing rains and even triggering lightning with the help of lasers, scientists claim.

Experiments by researchers have shown that intense pulses of light can cause ice formation and water to condense, leading to the formation of man-made clouds.

Researchers have also demonstrated that lightning discharges can be triggered and channelled through the air using laser pulses.

They hope the technology could allow lightning during thunderstorms to be guided away from sensitive buildings such as power-plants or airports.

The technology may manipulate the weather by creating `artificial` clouds and triggering rainfall ahead of major public events, researchers said.

Professor Jean-Pierre Wolf and Dr Jerome Kasparian, from the University of Geneva, are organising a conference at the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) next month in an attempt to find ways of speeding up research on the topic.

"Ultra-short lasers launched into the atmosphere have emerged as a promising prospective tool for weather modulation and climate studies. Such prospects include lightning control and laser-assisted condensation," said Kasparian.

Scientists have long tried to control the weather, including using techniques such as cloud seeding.

They acheive this by spraying small particles and chemicals into the air to induce water vapours to condense into clouds, the report said.

The US experimented with using silver-iodide in an attempt to weaken hurricanes in 1960`s.

The erstwhile USSR also claimed to have flown cloud seeding missions in an attempt to create rain clouds to protect Moscow from radioactive fallout from the Chernobyl nuclear disaster.

Chinese authorities used aircraft and rockets to release chemicals into the atmosphere before the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing so as to keep rains away.

However, researchers believe that lasers could provide an easier and more controllable method of manipulating the weather conditions.

Researchers said experiments using varying pulses of near infra-red laser light and ultraviolet lasers have shown that they cause water vapours to condense.

Lasers induce tiny ice crystals to form, which are a crucial step in the formation of clouds and eventual rainfall, researchers have found.


First Published: Wednesday, August 28, 2013 - 19:06
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