Is there a thriving microbial ecosystem integral to the meteorological health of the present climate living and dying in the clouds? Some circumstantial evidence and creative connecting suggests the possibility, as summarised in this Boston Globe article. Are colonies of bacteria and fraternities of funghi responsible for the rain? From the article:
Some researchers believe that bugs do more than hitch a ride in clouds. They may make the clouds, too. It turns out that many cloud-inhabiting bacteria are brilliantly designed for cloud-seeding: that is, for triggering the formation of ice crystals around which water vapor coalesces to create water droplets. They do this by producing a protein that mimics the shape of an ice crystal's surface, which could help growth get started.