As you know, bacteria are everywhere – in the human intestine, on every surface, on our skin and even in the sky. Along with water vapor and particles in the clouds live live bacteria. And some air bacteria have real superpowers. They can cause water to turn into ice and thereby cause rain. Once the frozen granules form around particles of dust, minerals or microorganisms, they fall, becoming rain drops on the way or forming snowflakes. So, microorganisms can increase the amount of precipitation. But how does this happen?
The bacterium under consideration is called Pseudomonas Syringae. As we know, the clouds only seem to us clean. In fact, in one cubic meter of any rain cloud contains from 300 to 30 000 microbes. Including Pseudomonas Syringae, a bacterium that has a very strange ability: to turn water into ice even at relatively high temperatures. It was discovered several decades ago on plants, and it is very easy to grow in artificial conditions, which is why now it is indispensable for any ski resort.
How does it work? Pseudomonas Syringae produces proteins that are organized, mesh located on its surface. When molecules of water approach them, they also align with this protein lattice by forming a chemical grid, and as a result of this hard positioning they begin to form ice. This chemical-bacterial frozen core attracts more and more water, and as a result, it becomes more massive and heavier. Ultimately, such an education can no longer remain in the air and falls to the ground, well, then everything depends on the temperature.
In theory, this method can cause rain even in a drought. “If you inject these bacteria into the cloud, they will start the process of freezing, which will cause rain,” confirms biologist Brent Christner of the University of Florida. “It remains only a question of whether there are many of them in the clouds to exert a significant influence on the precipitation.” Now, Christner and other researchers using meteosounds and airplanes take samples to answer the question of why, in general, Pseudomonas Syringae, usually inhabiting plants, flies on clouds. Perhaps so, along with the rain, it overcomes long distances to develop new habitats.
If this hypothesis proves to be true, then the next phase of the experiment may be the deliberate rain challenge with the help of bacteria, that is, the implementation of precipitation by order.