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Bacteria Help Form Clouds

Germs really are everywhere: Bacteria, fungal spores and other biological detritus have been found in clouds and likely help to form the cores of cloud droplets, scientists have found.

The study of the role that these biological particles play in cloud formation could help refine one of the biggest uncertainties left in climate change predictions ā€” how clouds influence climate.

Scientists have long known that microorganisms, or parts of them, can become airborne and travel great distances. Leaves fall off trees, dry up and crumble then get whisked away by the wind, for example. The same can happen to fungal spores and even bacteria. Whether any of the airborne microbes are still alive or not, the scientists can't say, because they did not test for that.

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