Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Swiss Researchers Try to Make it Rain With Lasers

samzenpus posted more than 2 years ago | from the rain-makers dept.

News 139

formaggio writes "Last year a team of researchers at Switzerland's University of Geneva had come up with an interesting way of making it rain– by shooting lasers high up into the sky. At the time it seemed like science fiction, but now they are one step closer after the team successfully finished tests around Lake Geneva. From the article: 'Records from 133 hours of firings revealed that intense pulses of laser light created nitric acid particles in the air that behaved like atmospheric glue, binding water molecules together into droplets and preventing them from re-evaporating. Within seconds, these grew into stable drops a few thousandths of a millimeter in diameter: too small to fall as rain, but large enough to encourage the scientists to press on with the work.'"

cancel ×

139 comments

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

Make it rain... (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37273300)

While they weren't able to make rain fall they did make 34 pigeons, 12 sparrows, 334 bees and 1 hanglider fall from the sky...

Re:Make it rain... (2)

Joce640k (829181) | more than 2 years ago | (#37273444)

...and a whole lot of nitric acid.

Re:Make it rain... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37273838)

While they weren't able to make rain fall they did make 34 pigeons, 12 sparrows, 334 bees and 1 hanglider fall from the sky...

Whatever it does, don't give it to Obama - He'll put it to use stirring up a hurricane or killing animals en mass to divert from the fact he hasn't done a damn thing but put us in further debt and be able to say it wasn't his fault because there was this or that or whatever else - when he goes to church he prays for Katrina or 9/11.

Re:Make it rain... (1)

craigminah (1885846) | more than 2 years ago | (#37273974)

Obama will only use the "laser" for evil if polls show it would be favorable to his reelection campaign which he started in 2008. OTOH, once we start altering the climate we'll everything up and force rain to fall where the money is or where it's politcally beneficial for the rain to fall. Best this never works.

Re:Make it rain... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37274692)

Holy Butthurt, Batman. You're most likely a racist too.

Re:Make it rain... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37274910)

Holy Butthurt, Batman. You're most likely a racist too.

Who says this guy commenting wasn't black?

Re:Make it rain... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37275160)

Then he's racist against Obama's white half. This pres can call anyone racist!

Re:Make it rain... (1)

RNLockwood (224353) | more than 2 years ago | (#37274320)

Yes, and the people who were near the where the lasers impacted the earth at the end of their ballistic trajectory were not amused.

what could go wrong? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37273304)

Nothing can go wrong, of course

Re:what could go wrong? (5, Interesting)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 2 years ago | (#37273352)

As long as you aren't doing it in any flight paths, you are probably not going to cause any immediate damage...

The real giggles, with the eventual success of any of these cloud-seeding projects, will be political(probably with a side of Aral-sea style ecological fuck-uppery in places where people don't care very much):

As with rivers that flow across political boundaries(a source of endless contention over water rights, complaints by team downstream that team upstream is taking too much water out and/or dumping too much shit in, etc.), air currents carrying enough water vapor to be even theoretically 'seed-able' are a finite resource. Rain that falls in one location won't be available to fall in another one. Historically, there hasn't been all that much fighting(either the legal flavor, or the literal flavor) about it, because rainfall was pretty much just a function of geography, climate, and luck.

Should it become possible to 'pump' a cloud with some comparatively inexpensive apparatus(whether it be this laser widget or some other thing), reliable air currents flowing from regions of evaporation will become a new flavor of 'river', suddenly subject to rivalrous use, and the rivalries that stem from it. Happy times!

Re:what could go wrong? (1)

Grizzley9 (1407005) | more than 2 years ago | (#37274430)

Should it become possible to 'pump' a cloud with some comparatively inexpensive apparatus(whether it be this laser widget or some other thing), reliable air currents flowing from regions of evaporation will become a new flavor of 'river', suddenly subject to rivalrous use, and the rivalries that stem from it. Happy times!

I believe it already is possible, at least partially (seems the jury is still out on effectiveness). Using lasers is just another way to do it. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cloud_seeding [wikipedia.org]

Re:what could go wrong? (1)

neokushan (932374) | more than 2 years ago | (#37274824)

Indeed, let's stifle progress based on what COULD go wrong.

Flood the Sahara (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37273312)

If only there were a way to divert all the clouds from the places that get too much rainfall and flooding, and have them all over the Sahara, as well as the Arabian peninsula. Would make that entire continent more agriculture rich, and solve food distribution issues in the region. While at the same time, giving the heavily rained on regions some respite!

Re:Flood the Sahara (0, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37273334)

Also, flying ponies and pink unicorns.

Re:Flood the Sahara (1)

Rakshasa-sensei (533725) | more than 2 years ago | (#37273382)

What they should build are vast farms of passive air condensers, much cheaper and have low maintenance requirement. Start by building them west coast of Sahara and move inland.

Re:Flood the Sahara (2)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 2 years ago | (#37273474)

But we'll need droids who can speak their binary language...

Re:Flood the Sahara (1)

jhoegl (638955) | more than 2 years ago | (#37273772)

The question is, how many languages can you have with binary based languages?

Re:Flood the Sahara (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37273860)

infinitely many

Re:Flood the Sahara (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37274298)

All of them.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Turing_machine

Re:Flood the Sahara (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37274362)

Quite a lot. [wikipedia.org]

Re:Flood the Sahara (1)

agent_blue (413772) | more than 2 years ago | (#37274714)

10

Re:Flood the Sahara (1)

weeboo0104 (644849) | more than 2 years ago | (#37275050)

The question is, how many languages can you have with binary based languages?

How about 10?

Re:Flood the Sahara (1)

Marc Madness (2205586) | more than 2 years ago | (#37274702)

"Passive air condensers? Sir, my first job was programing binary load lifters very similar to your vaporators in most respects.”

Re:Flood the Sahara (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37275006)

Well, how can I put this...

I have a very, but very serious doubt that that plan will work at the first place.

Try to sleep a night in a desert (the hot ones) with shorts and a t-shirt and you will find yourself frozen in a couple hours, so the desert and everything in it is already a condenser. You can put as many condensers as you want, there is almost none water in the air to start.

Re:Flood the Sahara (1)

tokul (682258) | more than 2 years ago | (#37273464)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Desalination [wikipedia.org]
And stop solving food distribution issues by draining Chad or Aral Sea

Re:Flood the Sahara (3, Insightful)

Xest (935314) | more than 2 years ago | (#37273638)

Yes, then that way the dust that blows across the Atlantic from the Sahara to fertilize the Amazon can stop, and whilst Africa becomes a luscious new area of growth the whole of the Amazon can just die off.

Really, fucking around with things that can have such a massive, potentially unknown effect elsewhere isn't a smart idea at all because you can just end up making things worse.

Other parts of the world depend on the Sahara being like the Sahara is, so if you change the Sahara, you change those other parts of the world. In boosting food supplies in Africa you damage the food supplies in say South America, and create a problem there instead.

Re:Flood the Sahara (3, Funny)

smpoole7 (1467717) | more than 2 years ago | (#37273752)

> Other parts of the world depend on the Sahara ...

Yep. I've got hurricanes on the mind lately, so here's just one example that might not immediately occur to more normal people (I'm definitely abnormal): sometimes, you'll have a storm brewing in the Atlantic, but intensity will be inhibited by dry Saharan air mixing into the core. If you remove that dry air, we might have stronger hurricanes.

Of course, then someone will decide to blow lasers or set off nukes in the storm to compensate. What could POSSIBLY go wrong then? :)

Re:Flood the Sahara (1)

MightyYar (622222) | more than 2 years ago | (#37273868)

In boosting food supplies in Africa you damage the food supplies in say South America, and create a problem there instead.

Which might bother the Africans if they weren't largely subsistence farmers.

Re:Flood the Sahara (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37274774)

Really, fucking around with things that can have such a massive, potentially unknown effect elsewhere isn't a smart idea at all because you can just end up making things worse. .

I thought we had an agreement, you don't touch my software and I won't touch yours.

Re:Flood the Sahara (1)

afidel (530433) | more than 2 years ago | (#37274890)

The Amazon was just fine from 10,000BC to 5,500BC while the area currently part of the Sahara ranged from lush to semi-arid.

Re:Flood the Sahara (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37273844)

If only there were a way to divert all the clouds from the places that get too much rainfall and flooding, and have them all over the Sahara, as well as the Arabian peninsula. Would make that entire continent more agriculture rich, and solve food distribution issues in the region. While at the same time, giving the heavily rained on regions some respite!

Excellent plan! Lets destroy two well established ecosystems at once to make life more comfortable for the humans who want to live there.

If only there was a way to do it, eh?

Re:Flood the Sahara (1)

shortscruffydave (638529) | more than 2 years ago | (#37274272)

I think you'd need more than water...you need neutrients as well. The reason that agriculture flourished along the banks of the Nile while all around was desert was thanks only in part to the water - it also owed a lot to the soil and neutrients that got washed downriver in the annual floodwaters as well. Water != agricultural viability

WHA ?? NO SHARKS ?? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37273314)

Stupid swiss should better stick to making chocolate !!

Cheesolate (1)

AliasMarlowe (1042386) | more than 2 years ago | (#37273666)

Stupid swiss should better stick to making chocolate!!

...and using it to fill the holes in their cheese!

That's why it rained so much!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37273342)

F*ck... that's why we had so much rain these last past days/weeks!
Butterfly effect!

Been done (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37273346)

Kate Bush did Cloudbusting in the 80s.

Next up: making it STOP raining! (1)

FTWinston (1332785) | more than 2 years ago | (#37273372)

Surely we can build a device to target individual raindrops and evaporate them with a laser? They can already do it with mortars, afaik. Perhaps I should petition the government for funding - think of the boost to Scottish tourism if the weather here was predictable more than 5 minutes in advance!

Re:Next up: making it STOP raining! (1)

jovius (974690) | more than 2 years ago | (#37273472)

Solution as clear as the sky: Attach a propel to the LHC.

Re:Next up: making it STOP raining! (1)

FTWinston (1332785) | more than 2 years ago | (#37273500)

That wouldn't be very healthy for anyone flying over central Europe. Or their aircraft, for that matter!

Re:Next up: making it STOP raining! (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 2 years ago | (#37273514)

Probably easier and cheaper to scrub the clouds upwind of where you don't want the rain, rather than try to re-evaporate individual raindrops over the area...

Re:Next up: making it STOP raining! (0)

Fackamato (913248) | more than 2 years ago | (#37273724)

Indeed! But don't call me Shirley.

New Age (1)

jlebrech (810586) | more than 2 years ago | (#37273374)

And they will call this the Laser Age!

Re:New Age (5, Funny)

chromas (1085949) | more than 2 years ago | (#37273480)

The age of lasers seeding torrents in the Cloud.

Re:New Age (2)

AHuxley (892839) | more than 2 years ago | (#37273580)

Its called http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/High_Frequency_Active_Auroral_Research_Program [wikipedia.org]
The in 1980's origins http://www.eastlundscience.com/HAARP.html [eastlundscience.com]
by http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bernard_Eastlund [wikipedia.org]
The DoD presentations http://www.eastlundscience.com/HAARPROOTS.html [eastlundscience.com]
The early ideas http://www.eastlundscience.com/HAARPROADMAP.html [eastlundscience.com]
The U. S. Patent 4,712,155 http://www.eastlundscience.com/HAARPWEATHER.html [eastlundscience.com]

Re:New Age (1)

Sockatume (732728) | more than 2 years ago | (#37274336)

I'm not convinced that Eastlund's account is all that credible. That he took his presented about applying microwave technology to the military is undeniable, but the connection to HAARP amounts to "I had these ideas, I think HAARP is somehow doing them".

Re:New Age (1)

AHuxley (892839) | more than 2 years ago | (#37274798)

The trails cold, the tech seems to have been sold and may have been bought out a few times.
Someone has a nice tight budget, lots of electrical power, toys and land.

Now the sharks will flood the earth... (2)

moenoel (1897920) | more than 2 years ago | (#37273376)

... with their head mounted lasers. The horror.

Is this safe? (1)

aglider (2435074) | more than 2 years ago | (#37273392)

Nitric acid [wikipedia.org] raining from the sky sounds no good at all to me.
But maybe I'm not so good at science to understand the pros of such a rain.

Re:Is this safe? (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 2 years ago | (#37273564)

Depends on how much they end up generating... Nitric acid isn't especially stable at even modest temperatures, and exposure to sunlight doesn't help its stability any, so you could get away with generating modest quantities; but it doesn't take all that much pH depression before exterior stonework and/or trees start whining.

Re:Is this safe? (3, Informative)

Sockatume (732728) | more than 2 years ago | (#37273702)

Compounds like nitric acid act as nucleation sites for rain already. It'd be no more acidic than natural precipitation.

Re:Is this safe? (1)

aglider (2435074) | more than 2 years ago | (#37274556)

There will definitely be more nitric acid than natural. They are pushing hard to increase it above the natural concentration.

Re:Is this safe? (2)

Sockatume (732728) | more than 2 years ago | (#37274634)

Right, you still have to deal with dicking with the nitrogen cycle, but at least the pH of the rain will be normal.

We won't like it (1)

roman_mir (125474) | more than 2 years ago | (#37273396)

We won't like it when it's going to rain sharks all of a sudden!

Great! (1)

foobsr (693224) | more than 2 years ago | (#37273398)

Presumably they were testing the equipment in Europe this year, thus summer failed to happen.

CC.

Re:Great! (1)

Pieroxy (222434) | more than 2 years ago | (#37273782)

Presumably they were testing the equipment in Europe this year, thus summer failed to happen.

It sure happened! it was the 17th of August.

That's good (2)

JockTroll (996521) | more than 2 years ago | (#37273404)

Doctor Frankenstein was from Geneva. Nothing like his descendants firing lasers into thunderclouds. Now witness the firepower of this FULLY ARMED and OPERATIONAL battlestation!

Re:That's good (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37274984)

Man, you're posting a new thread instead of replying to someone? I guess you're trying to gather more karma for your future personal attacks.

But wait... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37273412)

I'm pretty sure lasers can already make it rain [urbandictionary.com] for Metallica! [youtube.com]

Not much luck with the rain (2)

will_die (586523) | more than 2 years ago | (#37273426)

but I hear they have made a nice CH engraved in the moon.

Re:Not much luck with the rain (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37274128)

Thrakazog! Thrakazog, with a 'k'!

Re:Not much luck with the rain (1)

Culture20 (968837) | more than 2 years ago | (#37275276)

Susan

Let's make it snow! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37273528)

Let's make it snow with nuclear weaponry - a bit of radiation doesn't hurt anyone!

HAARP project (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37273538)

No comparison with HAARP project? This one looks more efficient to generate storm/rain!

Re:HAARP project (1)

Sockatume (732728) | more than 2 years ago | (#37273602)

Right. Given that HAARP has nothing to do with weather control, nobody has made that comparison.

More rain in Geneva??? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37273556)

guys we have enough rain in geneva. aim your lasers somewhere else please!

cosmic rays from the sun (0, Troll)

FudRucker (866063) | more than 2 years ago | (#37273632)

there is a theory that is backed up by research by scientists at CERN that cosmic rays from the sun help in promoting the formation of clouds, the scientists at CERN is not offering much press on this because of the climate-change/global-warming religion that is so firmly entrenched in mainstream media and liberally biased US colleges...

Re:cosmic rays from the sun (4, Informative)

Sockatume (732728) | more than 2 years ago | (#37273696)

Wrong. [discovermagazine.com]

Your version of the story is not getting much press because it's not true.

Re:cosmic rays from the sun (0)

FudRucker (866063) | more than 2 years ago | (#37273832)

Discover Magazine is wrong, they are about as scientific as the History Channel and their Ancient Aliens and cryptozoology TV shows, = its all pseudoscience...

Re:cosmic rays from the sun (1)

Sockatume (732728) | more than 2 years ago | (#37274000)

You might want to read the quotes from the actual research cited there. And I won't hear a thing said against Philip Plait.

Re:cosmic rays from the sun (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37274392)

Mr. Rucker (har) may also want to read the actual paper in Nature [nature.com] . You'll need to view it through a library that has a subscription, though. The citation is:

Kirby, J. et al. 2011. Role of sulphuric acid, ammonia and galactic cosmic rays in atmospheric aerosol nucleation, Nature 476, 429–433 (25 August 2011)

It is strange that the "climate-change/global-warming religion" didn't prevent its publication. I also don't see much evidence that "CERN is not offering much press on this", given that the paper is in Nature, a rather well-known scientific journal, and CERN itself has a press release about it [web.cern.ch] , where this statement is made:

"The CLOUD results show that a few kilometres up in the atmosphere sulphuric acid and water vapour can rapidly form clusters, and that cosmic rays enhance the formation rate by up to ten-fold or more. However, in the lowest layer of the atmosphere, within about a kilometre of Earth's surface, the CLOUD results show that additional vapours such as ammonia are required. Crucially, however, the CLOUD results show that sulphuric acid, water and ammonia alone – even with the enhancement of cosmic rays - are not sufficient to explain atmospheric observations of aerosol formation. Additional vapours must therefore be involved, and finding out their identity will be the next step for CLOUD."

There are more details on that page, such as this PDF [web.cern.ch] , which states:

"This result leaves open the possibility that cosmic rays could also influence climate. However, it is premature to conclude that cosmic rays have a significant influence on climate until the additional nucleating vapours have been identified, their ion enhancement measured, and the ultimate effects on clouds have been confirmed."

Emphasis added.

If he doesn't like the account from Discover Magazine/Phil Plait, there's also this one from PhysOrg.com [physorg.com] . Maybe with these sources he can manage to find one that isn't as liberally biased as he seems to think most of reality is.

Re:cosmic rays from the sun (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37274304)

"Discover Magazine is wrong, they are about as scientific as the History Channel and their Ancient Aliens and cryptozoology TV shows, = its all pseudoscience..."

Cute, but Discovery Magazine is not a TV show, and the article quotes from the original research paper:

"However, even with the large enhancements in rate due to ammonia and ions, atmospheric concentrations of ammonia and sulphuric acid [i.e. aerosols] are insufficient to account for observed boundary-layer nucleation."

In other words: to small an effect to account for cloud formation by cosmic rays.

Re:cosmic rays from the sun (2)

Hatta (162192) | more than 2 years ago | (#37274412)

No, his version of the story is not getting much press because there's no money in it. Truth and falsehood make no difference to the press.

Re:cosmic rays from the sun (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37274114)

Re:cosmic rays from the sun (1)

daaarrriiin (1998596) | more than 2 years ago | (#37274528)

Old argument -->http://imagine.gsfc.nasa.gov/docs/ask_astro/answers/970105.html ... Didn't the ozone layer used to protect the planet from cosmic rays?

Pacman Jones already knows how to make it rain. (1)

aapold (753705) | more than 2 years ago | (#37273634)

Pacman Jones makes it rain. [leavethemanalone.com]

Re:Pacman Jones already knows how to make it rain. (0)

umberleigh (793964) | more than 2 years ago | (#37273786)

leave them anal one?

Re:Pacman Jones already knows how to make it rain. (1)

dvoecks (1000574) | more than 2 years ago | (#37274312)

Just make sure you don't try to pick up the "precipitation" too soon, or you're going to get punched.

Erybody in the club getting tipsy (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37273688)

Look at that, look at that hootchie mama! Make it rain you, sweeden you a playa too!

YES!6 Fp (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37273706)

confirmed that *BSD Theo de Raadt, one It's best to try how it was supposed our chances

thermal thursday, not much left to lie about (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37273716)

uncle sam will probably try to feign lucidity again, whilst shearing more sheeples in order to make more eye coverings.

disarm. stop lying about every fauxking thing. feed the hungry. those are the mathematically & spiritually correct options now.

the imaginary 'borders' are disappearing as we fail to communicate once more. read the teepeeleaks etchings, or watch the movie (unrepentant). that'll open one's eyes, & turn their stomach at the same time, as it's (holycostal genocides) still happening in real time all around the globe, right now. there's certainly 'too many' of some things, but it's not people.

Just don't let the airline pilots look down (1)

Ptur (866963) | more than 2 years ago | (#37273728)

oops....

Re:Just don't let the airline pilots look down (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37273804)

with the remaining eye!

Prior art (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37273770)

I thought HAARP already did this?

fp di34 (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37273798)

If it works, we will need an Igor to save us! (1)

arvn (586909) | more than 2 years ago | (#37273824)

I think that I saw this already, in the land of Malaria, an Evil Scientist (Why are they always Evil?) creates a rain machine (Fires pink beams into the sky) and causes it to rain ALL the time.......causing a situation where Evil science projects are the country's only source of income........and the Igor saves the day/country/his lot in life/, in the end by destroying it.

This will never work (1)

minderaser (28934) | more than 2 years ago | (#37273920)

Not unless they mount the frikkin' laser on shark's heads

But here in the US... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37273998)

We would get arrested [npr.org] if we were shooting lasers into the sky, and one happened to shine into an airplane cockpit.

hmmm (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37274086)

I'm not sure how the strippers are going to feel about this...

As tried... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37274160)

By Wilhelm Reich [wikipedia.org] , and dramatized by ... yes, Kate Bush [youtube.com] .

A message from England... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37274166)

.. you can tell them to stop now. Thanks

In other news... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37274354)

Seven airline pilots were blinded over Switzerland.

cars make nitric acid precursors (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37274510)

NOx emissions oxidize to nitric acid. Diesels even emit smart particles to aid in rain formation. Maybe Europe knows this, and rain generation is one of the benefits of diesel engines.

Acid rain? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37274578)

Acid rain?

Massively increases potential for droughts (1)

GauteL (29207) | more than 2 years ago | (#37274606)

... and the following famines and potential warfare.

We already see this with dams on rivers which are vital to the down streams countries and people. If it became realistically possible to control the rain, we would start to see countries affecting each others rain fall, especially due to fairly predictable overall wind patterns.

I'm not saying there aren't positive possibilities, but there is massive scope for negative consequences and if this became viable technology it is something the UN would have to be fully on top of.

Excellent choice (1)

Crouty (912387) | more than 2 years ago | (#37274616)

Not that the area above lake Geneva was one of the most crowded airspaces in Europe or anything.

Still, I welcome our rain-making overlords.

How do they know? (1)

prometx42 (1107413) | more than 2 years ago | (#37274644)

Fascinating story but, my question is, what sensory apparatus are they using to measure "stable drops a few thousandths of a millimeter in diameter" in the resulting atmosphere?

They seem to have neglected to mention their prior discovery, The Star Trek Duotronic Sensor Array...

Energy Cost? (1)

denshao2 (1515775) | more than 2 years ago | (#37274742)

If the total energy/financial cost of causing rain is more than the cost of transporting water via conventional means, then it's not really practical.

The inevitable legal question (1)

RogueWarrior65 (678876) | more than 2 years ago | (#37274772)

So let's say we're in drought-stricken West Texas and you zap the clouds and make it rain. But that rain would have originally fallen on central or east Texas. To whom does the rain water belong?

I don't need lasers to make it rain. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37274780)

Just a stack of dollar bills :-)

Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>