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Germy with a chance of hail

Aerial microbes can trigger precipitation

By
3:30pm, May 24, 2011

Bacteria often leave their hosts feeling under the weather. And even when the hosts are high-altitude parcels of air, microbes can be a source of inclement conditions, a Montana research team finds. Cloudborne bacteria might even pose climate threats by boosting the production of a greenhouse gas, another team proposes.

Both groups reported their findings May 24 at the American Society for Microbiology meeting in New Orleans.

These data add to a growing body of evidence that biological organisms are affecting clouds, notes Anthony Prenni of Colorado State University in Fort Collins, an atmos

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