Researchers have compiled evidence that a group of bacteria long known to live on agricultural crops may have been part of a remotely studied weather ecosystem that causes snow and rain.
Though the principle is well acclaimed but of how viral it is, remains to be expounded. Scientists who have conducted this research found these bacteria in wide range and abundance to wild and domesticated plants in many places.
Among them are: The US, France, Morocco and even in the long buried ice of Antarctica. It is quite interesting to note that this bacteria can also be found in clouds, streams and irrigation ditches.
One study has shown that 70% of the snow crystals examined of several mountain tops in Montana had form around a bacterial nucleus.
The researchers have said that some of these bacteria promotes freezing as a medium of attacking plants and inflict damage to them, thus giving the bacteria the opportunity to get the nutrients they need from the plants.
Bacteria’s ability to promote freezing water higher than normal freezing temperatures, scientists tend to believe that the bacteria are part of the unstudied system that needs to be explored for more and of how it can effect change and alter our weather system.
According to David Sands, plant pathologist of Montana State University, that after the bacteria infect plants and multiply they may swept like aerosols into the atmosphere, where they prompt to form ice crystals which melted as they fall to earth, causing rain.
The ability of protein in the bacteria to make snow is well known, where ski areas use a cannon to shoot into the air with water to make snow. It is also used in cloud seeding efforts to create rain.
If the significance of these bacteria is to be considered in our ecosystem, can this be the answer to long drought experienced in other parts of the world and the resolution is by propagating the right plants (vegetation and trees) where these bacteria thrive in abundance?
The ongoing research could have implication to our problem of climate change and global warming. The only handicap, however, as Dr. Sands pointed out, the bacteria do not grow over 28 degree Celsius, they could die if the warm temperature stays too long. “There’s more work to do, It’s a great big complicated picture,” Dr. Sands concluded.