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Lasers could be used to induce precipitation

European scientists have showcased research highlighting how lasers could be used to induce precipitation.

A new technique for inducing rain using lasers has been tested by researchers from Switzerland, France and Germany.

Dr Jerome Kasparian of the University of Geneva headed the team of scientists and showed how a pulse from a Teramobile femtosecond-terawatt laser into an atmosphere that is high in humidity can result in cloud formation and precipitation - a technique which could be useful in fighting drought.

The study concluded: "The phenomenon provides a new and attractive tool for remote characterisation of the humid atmosphere and cloud formation ... It may even provide the potential to influence or trigger water precipitation using continuously operating lasers rather than rockets."

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