Living bacteria found in the middle and upper troposphere.
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Researchers from the Georgia Institute of Technology have discovered significant numbers of living microorganisms, primarily bacteria, in the middle and upper troposphere (that section of the atmosphere about four to six miles above the Earth’s surface) using genomic techniques.
For the time being, researchers aren’t sure whether the microorganisms habitually reside in this section of the atmosphere or whether they were sent into the middle and upper troposphere from the Earth’s surface. They believe that the microorganisms could play an important role in forming ice that may affect weather and climate.