Thursday, 31 January 2013

The microbial diversity in the middle and upper troposphere

Researchers have used genomic techniques to document the presence of significant numbers of microorganisms, principally bacteria, in the middle and upper troposphere, that section of the atmosphere approximately four to six miles above Earth's surface.

Whether the microorganisms inhabit this portion of the atmosphere (perhaps living on carbon compounds also found there) or whether they are lofted there from Earth's surface is not known.

The research was supported by NASA and the National Science Foundation, has been published online by the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Natasha DeLeon-Rodriguez et al. Microbiome of the upper troposphere: Species composition and prevalence, effects of tropical storms, and atmospheric implications. PNAS, 2013

Posted by Tim Sandle