Dust in the atmosphere and climate

21 Aug 2014

Gary Gilligan sent in the following link - www.acs.org/content/acs/en/pressroom/newsreleases/2014/august/dust-and-t... ... and the title describes the contents at the link. Dust in the atmosphere can influence rainfall. The research used mass spectrometry which sample cloud droplets and ice crystals onboard research aircraft flying through clouds. An unintended consequence of the research is that they discovered a lot of material that is loaded with signs of life. A spokesman adds, 'we are seeing lots of biological components such as bacteria and molecules associated with microbial life. Many of the species we find in ice crystals have these biological chemicals and are not simply dust particles.' The microbes hitch a ride on grains of sand, iron and other debris swept aloft from desert regions. Microbes and biological components could also become mixed with the dust as it is transported across the Pacific - and may influence rain making.