Heavenly stun gun. Scientists have found a way to scatter clouds and make it rain
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A study shows that an electrical charge can change the size of water droplets and cause “explosive rain”.
Overcast, foggy days are becoming more and more common in our lives as autumn approaches. It would seem, what can we do with the vagaries of nature? But scientists do not agree to stand idle and have already come up with a way to “cheer up the gloomy skies,” writes The Guardian.
A group of scientists from the Universities of Reading and Bath wondered whether it is possible for a person to change the size of the droplets in the fog or, for example, help the cloud “get rid of excess water” and make it rain.
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During the study, Giles Harrison and his colleagues were chasing fogs at dawn in the Somerset Levels. They directed the drone deep into the fog and released an electric charge. As a result, scientists found that a positive or negative charge released into the fog formed more water droplets.
According to Harrison, it is known that an electric charge can slow evaporation. However, the fact that it is also able to make the drops “explode” seems striking. Scientists note that this is due to the fact that the electrical force acting on the drops exceeds the surface tension that holds the drops together.
Researchers suggest that their discovery can be widely used in the fight against drought. For example, such a method could be used in ultra-arid regions such as the Middle East or North Africa. An electrical charge can be used to “encourage” clouds to pour rain.
Harrison notes that ordinary droplets are larger than fog droplets, and therefore the likelihood of their collision increases. The researchers believe that a positive or negative electrical charge directed into the cloud can help the droplets stick together and become heavier.