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50 years ago, scientists suspected that microbes were blooming in the clouds


Clouds can be ecosystems – Science News, November 14, 1970

Clouds in the sky can contain living microbial ecosystems … (Research) has determined that metabolic activity, in the form of CO2 capture in organic matter, occurred in dust (in the air) for a period of 24 hours, while not produced in control sterilized powder.


The atmosphere is rich in microbial life. A census documented some 28,000 species of bacteria in cloud water samples on a mountain in France, scientists reported in 2017. Research conducted in the last decade has more or less supported the claim that some bacteria may be metabolically active within their abodes. nebulae. A species of bacillus, for example, eats sugar floating in the atmosphere to build a coating, perhaps to protect itself from ultraviolet radiation and low temperatures (SN: 2/7/15, p. 5). Some scientists suspect that bacteria in the clouds contribute to the Earth’s carbon and nitrogen cycles and even influence time (SN: 18/06/11, p. 12). Microbes can stimulate the formation of ice crystals, causing rain and snow, and a return to the Earth's surface.


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