Some welcome (albeit extremely unsettling) news in the wake of Hurricane Irene: Swiss scientists a technique for controlling rainfall… using lasers! University of Geneva researchers published their findings in the Nature Communications journal this week, outlining a technique called "laser-assisted water condensation" that induce rain, and with further developments could also be used to prevent it.
"Maybe one day this could be a way to attenuate the monsoon or reduce flooding in certain areas," on physicist on the project enthused.
Full-on weather control is still a little ways off, though — the laser only works in humid areas, and needs to be tweaked in order to control the size of the raindrops. Researchers are also mulling over a technique that would involve sweeping the laser through the sky in order to produce rainfall over a larger area. One explained, "From a technical point of view, sweeping the laser is not an issue. They do it in nightclubs all the time."
So, there you have it. The future is now, and it consists of nightclub lasers controlling the weather.