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Do bacteria in the clouds cause rain?

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1 Author(s)
Sands, D. ; Montana State Univ., Bozeman, MT, USA

This idea is that The Bug grows on plant surfaces and can be swept into the atmosphere in microscopic dandruff-like magic carpets where special bacterial proteins nucleate free water in the clouds forming ice crystals. The ice crystals once formed from the bacterial nucleation event, then bounce around and multiply, and can eventually fall to earth as snow or rain. The idea that plants and their bacteria might have a role in clouds and then in rainfall formation was presented some 25 years ago from observations in and above Montana wheat fields. It is only recently that the bioprecipitation cycle hypothesis has had some validity from data generated at the tops of our four ski resorts in the Big Sky and Bozeman areas. They are working with scientists on several continents interested in this hypothesis because by choosing the right crops to sustain the bacteria, they might be able to cause additional rain in drought stricken areas of the world.

Published in:

Aerospace Conference, 2011 IEEE

Date of Conference:

5-12 March 2011

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