Snowflakes Are Alive

As we move into March and leave winter behind, it’s probably safe to discuss snowflakes again without inspiring a cacophony of curses and nervous tics.


At least, that’s what I thought because it turns out the occasionally scenic precipitation is not just the ice crystal we previously believed, but formed around a group of biological particulates. Let me reiterate this: in the middle of every snowflake there is a colony of living things.

Scientists were investigating how the snowflakes formed in the upper troposphere, where the temperature is approximately -40 degrees C/F (celsius and fahrenheit are the same at that point), and ice has difficulty forming. The answer: biological catalysts. The study in the journal Science examined snow from five sites worldwide to remove the possibility of the biologics being a local phenomenon. Despite some variation–imply what you will from France and America having the highest concentrations of these bacteria– the Pseudomonas syringae were indeed present golbally.

Info from Ars Technia

By new Environmental Graffiti contributor Ben Ray. Ben is a freelance writer, check him out at What’s Required

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