London

Rain can be called upon by firing laser beams into the air, a new study has claimed.

Intense pulses of laser light create nitric acid particles in the air that behave like atmospheric glue, binding water molecules toge

ther into droplets and preventing them from re- evaporating, the report said.

Researchers from the University of Geneva believe that the development could eventually lead to man- made weather systems.

Although the technique, known as laserassisted water condensation, does not work in dry air, scientists were able to generate the droplets in very humid conditions over the Rhone river in Switzerland.

The drops created – just thousandths of a millimetre across – were nowhere near heavy enough to fall as rain but the experts hope that by making them hundreds of times larger they will be able to create or prevent rainfall in the right conditions, reports the Telegraph.

If the process is repeated in air currents that are blowing towards mountains, the researchers hope the air will cool enough that the droplets grow large enough to fall as rain.

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