When Air meets Water


Microbiome is used often in reference to the things so small and insignificant that, in relation to macroscopic phenomena, they are literally invisible. Plentifully distributed bacteria collectively constitute together something of a globe encompassing organism, and their collective power to affect changes in the planet’s climate may be far more profound than any of us imagined.

Significant rain-making bacteria have been identified to date but an ice-nucleating bacteria called Pseudomonas syringae is a form of bacteria we speak of as”atmospheric macrobiome.” It is now known that the atmospheric microbiome actually regulates rain and snow formation and precipitation. Earth is surrounded by microbes and the progeny of microbes flying from land to sky and back to land. Outside the tropics, only 1 percent of rain events involve ice-free clouds.” The story starts with the plankton in the Southern ocean launching the microbes to encourage cloud formation to reflect sunlight on the ocean for their own better development. The theory is somewhere between the hypothesis and the known fact stages and we are eagerly watching for proofs and details.

The concept of rainmaking bacteria has been around since the 1970s. You may not have known about microbes living in the atmosphere or about bioprecipitation. Native American and African rain dancing is therefore attributed to the clever forebears. But gather a large group of people to kick up enough dust and this ancient ritual begins to make sense. An interesting modern example of this phenomena comes from a tea plantation in Western Kenya, notorious for its incredible volume of hailstorms. In 1982, Russell Schnell, a University of Colorado student, discovered that tea pickers kicked-up particles carrying P. syringae leading to 132 days of hailstorms in just one year. Amazing stuff!!

Now that we know about our rainmaking friends, it appears we should protect them instead of inhibiting their crucial work watering the planet. This may be the best reason to buy organic produce and promote natural farming methods. It’s time to consider the possibility that factory farming with its focus on chemicals such as glyphosate and glufosinate have played an important role in creating drought and other severe weather patterns. Meanwhile, crews are battling wildfires in California and Montana due to drought.

Few people realize that, just as there are bacteria in the soil and in the gut, there are also bacteria in the clouds. Bacteria are able to collect water vapor which could seed cloud formation. It’s possible that they play an important role in moderating the world’s weather. Since glyphosate is known to disrupt soil bacteria and gut bacteria, it’s logical to assume it could disrupt cloud bacteria as well. This might even be an important factor in the recent California drought. These ideas are speculative, but they are well deserving of deeper research.”

Stephanie Seneff, Senior Research Scientist, MIT Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory said that many kinds of microbes play a role in bioprecipitation where most rain begins with formation of ice in clouds. The organism best known for its role in ice production both on land and in clouds is the bacterium these microbes are known as Pseudomonas syringae or ice neucleators, found in rain, snow and hail everywhere on Earth. The bacteria use their membrane ice-nucleation proteins (INPs) to form ice at relatively warm temperatures:
“Depending on the nucleating material a bacterium can cause ice formation even at -1°C but normally the pure water freezes approximately at -36°C”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>