The physical hypothesis that air pollution in the form of small particles should lead to less efficient formation of precipitation has been established for several decades and is widely considered to be scientifically sound. As yet, however, no convincing proof exists that such a microphysical control of precipitation efficiency has been the prime cause of rainfall reduction in any area of the globe. There is a need for new experimental designs to test this hypothesis in a holistic way, taking into account all possible confounding influences on rainfall trends in a climate that is clearly not stationary in the face of global warming and natural decadal variability.

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