Bacteria that live in clouds may have evolved the ability to promote rainstorms as a way to disperse themselves. These microbes—called ice nucleators—are found in rain, snow, and hail throughout the world, according to Brent Christner, a microbiologist at Louisiana State University. These bacteria may be part of a constant feedback between terrestrial ecosystems and clouds. They may rely on the rainfall to spread to new habitats, much as plants rely on windblown pollen grains.
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