Christner's team examined precipitation from global locations and demonstrated that the most active ice nuclei -- a substrate that enhances the formation of ice -- are biological in origin. This is important because the formation of ice in clouds is required for snow and most rainfall. Dust and soot particles can serve as ice nuclei, but biological ice nuclei are capable of catalyzing freezing at much warmer temperatures. If present in clouds, biological ice nuclei may affect the processes that trigger precipitation.
Biological precipitation, or the "bio-precipitation" cycle, as David Sands,
"We think if (the bacteria) couldn't cause ice to form, they couldn't get back down to the ground," Sands said. "As long as it rains, the bacteria grow."
The team's work is far-reaching. Sands and his colleagues have found the bacteria all over the world, including
These research findings could potentially supply knowledge that could help reduce drought from
Rain near the village Lunde, the north of Funen, Denmark, by Malene Thyssen, Wikimedia Commons