Monday, 30 May 2016

Zapping clouds with lasers could change the planet's temperature.

Blasting lasers at cirrus clouds could help scientists tweak the earth's temperature by breaking up the ice crystals found in them.

Clouds with more numerous, smaller ice particles, these reflect more light. This technique could fight against global warming by making clouds reflect more light back into space.

Scientists from the University of Geneva injected water drops into a chilled chamber which mimics the cold temperature high in the atmosphere. The water froze into spherical ice particles, scientists blasted these with bursts of laser light. The laser hits the ice particle forming ultra hot plasma which produces a shock wave which breaks the ice particle forming smaller ice particles. Although applying this to clouds would be a long long way into the future, waiting for advances in laser technology. But this technique could also backfire as cirrus clouds also trap heat, (greenhouse effect) and and warm up the earth more. This method could possibly work by targeting certain types of cirrus clouds. Another negative aspect would be the fact that fossil fuels are burnt to power the lasers.

Divya D. 3º B

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