posted on Jan, 30 2013 @ 06:44 PM
We did not expect to find so many microorganisms in the troposphere, which is considered a difficult environment for life. There seems to be quite
a diversity of species, but not all bacteria make it into the upper troposphere.
The study is published here:
Study Finds Substantial Microorganism Populations in the Upper Troposphere
The study didn't confirm the origin of the lifeforms, whether they lived their entire life cycle in the upper atmosphere or were 'lofted' there, but
it did identify they were of either terrestrial or marine origin. I recall an earlier study published this past year that described clouds as
'living', hosting microbial lifeforms as well.
An intriguing study that will impact how we look for life on other planets. Planets lacking an ocean which we may have regarded as unlikely candidates
for harboring life may deserve another look.
(visit the link for the full news article)