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UCSD researchers make first direct observations of biological particles in high-altitude ice clouds
Date:5/17/2009

t as Asia or Africa. "This has really been kind of a holy grail measurement for us," said Prather. "Understanding which particles form ice nuclei, which occur at extremely low concentrations and are inherently difficult to measure, means you can further understand processes that result in precipitation. Any new piece of information you can get is critical."

The findings suggest that the biological particles that get swept up in dust storms help to induce the formation of cloud ice and that their region of origin makes a difference. Prather said initial evidence is increasingly suggesting that dust transported from Asia could be influencing precipitation in North America, for example.

Researchers hope to use the ICE-L data to design future studies timed to events when such particles may be playing a bigger role in triggering rain- or snowfall.


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Contact: Robert Monroe or Mario Aguilera
scrippsnews@ucsd.edu
858-534-3624
University of California - San Diego
Source:Eurekalert  

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