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See Inside Scientific American Volume 310, Issue 6

Can We Control the Weather?

Governments and farmers worldwide spend millions every year trying to control the weather. New science suggests they might be on to something

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Puffy clouds contain a breathtaking amount of water. The volume of even a small one can top 750 cubic kilometers, and if you figure a half gram of water per cubic meter, those wispy balls of atmospheric fluff start looking like flying lakes.*

Now imagine you are a farmer watching them glide over drought-parched fields, carrying more than enough water to save your crops and pull you out of debt yet yielding only a few tantalizing drops before disappearing over the horizon. It is that maddening condition that leads people worldwide to spend millions of dollars every year trying to control the rain.

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