Fungi Creates Clouds

Apologies for not writing another post for so long. I’m having a hard time figuring out what topics to write about, and with the school year starting once more, I’m having  a hard time finding free time to write. I usually find my blog topics by perusing my Twitter Feed. (If you don’t have a Twitter, I’d recommend it, if only to follow things you are interested in, you’ll be surprised how much you learn. But don’t get addicted.) The problem is I find a lot of interesting stories off Twitter, I just don’t feel that I can write an entire post on some of the topics I find. But that’s mainly because the posts I write aren’t just about the latest  innovations, they usually include some long-winded rant-like section about how I feel about the issue, which takes a while to write out. But this time, I think I”ll just share a little story I found last week.

Researchers have discovered a type of Fungi in the Amazon that emits spores into the air that help form clouds and ultimately, rain. The spores are made up of potassium, and allow water vapor to condense on their surface to form clouds. It’s interesting to think about how plants not only receive nutrients from the atmosphere, they also contribute to the atmosphere by providing clean air and cloud formation. It’s almost like geo-engineering, but conducted by nature instead of humanity. It also shows just how important protecting biodiversity is. The Amazon Forest is one of the few places left on Earth left largely untouched by humans, there’s still so much we don’t know about it. There could be so many species out there that could help us achieve a sustainable lifestyle or fix human-caused problems. This story also reminds me the great value in plants. Without plants, Humans probably would not be able to exist, and if you think about it, Humans also somewhat help Plants exist. It’s these symbiotic relationships that I think should guide design of sustainable cities and lifestyles. It’s also why I am so passionate about green infrastructure and utilizing natural processes for human goals (like cleaning wastewater using plants; I finally figured out the official word for it: phytoremediation). Anyway, I just hope that this story makes you appreciate the value of plants all the more.

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3 thoughts on “Fungi Creates Clouds

    • Haha, thanks? I think I devoted two sentences on the actual story. The article describes it best “The tiny, potassium-rich specks, smaller than bacteria, waft above the forest into the air. Once in the atmosphere, organic gases condense on the particles, coating them with gel-like compounds. The coated particles provide a surface for water vapor to form cloud droplets and rain.”

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