In Nov 13 2013 Nature News released an article pointing out that Scientists have discovered that a humble species of bacteria may play a major role in producing planetary climates by “seeding” clouds with ice-producing proteins.
Scientists have known for decades that bacterial species such as Pseudomonas syringae produce proteins on their outer membranes that somehow enable water to freeze at higher-than-usual temperatures. These proteins cause ice to form on plants, damaging the plant’s tissues and allowing the bacteria to invade and feed. But when the bacteria die, ice-forming proteins can enter the atmosphere and actually cause rain to form in the clouds above. Because these bacteria are so prolific, they may have a significant effect on the global climate.
In June I wrote a post in my blog about “Biological Productivity and its Influence on Cloud Formation.” I guess the work carried out by the German Scientists can be linked with this post as part of the debate on the influence of Biotic performance in atmospheric systems.