Cool as a Cucumber .
9 Jan 2009
A direct feedback loop involving bacteria affecting climate has been found .
Have you noticed that cucumbers freeze in the fridge above 0 centigrade ?
We know that many plants have anti-freeze chemicals . Likewise , some have proteins that promote a phase-change from liquid to solid above zero centigrade . This has obvious survival advantages in a climate of wildly varying extremes by keeping the plant cooler than its competitors .
Hence "Cool as a Cucumber" .
Some bacteria have evolved it further . They use these proteins to promote ice-crystal formation on plant-leaves in areas where the temperature is a bit above freezing . This cracks the plant's skin protection , enabling the bacteria to feast on the upwelling of nutrients. As the day gets hotter , they and their spores get blown into the atmosphere. There they do the same trick , forming ice-crystal condensation nuclei . These precipitate as rain or snow , promoting plant growth below . A neat feedback trick .
The name of the bacterium is "Pseudonomas syringae" .
See "Popular Science " Dec 2008 p22 " Rethinking rain"
Of course , these bacteria have predators . Most probably symbiotes on the plant-leaves . Most likely fungi and/or phages .
So numbers of Pseudonomas syringae would explode in a climate change , whether warmer or cooler , as plants not previously susceptible become exposed to near-freezing temperatures . So any climate fluctuation will lead to increased precipitation of rain and snow until a new balance was achieved .
So , we suspect that when they first evolved , the earth went into a very cold spell . The so-called Ice-ball Earth about 500 million years ago . Just after the evolution of multicellular land plants . Then their predators evolved to feast on the lushness . A new balance was achieved .
The predators are probably not as resistant to ultra-violet as Pseudonomas syringae must be . ( After all , Pseudonomas syringae must survive up to the stratosphere.)
Thus , increase in grassland over forest would result in pulses of increased precipitation , more forest , less precipitation as the Pseudonomas syringae predators are out of ultra-violet range , and so forth . This started about 3 million years ago . The ice ages fluctuation .
But humans had controlled fire from about that time .
I cannot believe where the logic is leading me .
Humans did the same to Africa as they did to Australia and America . Burned it .
In the process , triggering the periodic climatic instability of the Ice-Ages .
The multiplier effect needs some numbers , but cursory examination suggests a very high degree of sensitivity .
Now that we know what to look for , the traces are still visible .
The extinction of large egg-layers . Large grassy plains . Puzzling gaps in eco-niches greedily filled in by foreign imports . Human aquatic adaptations from when the land was unlivable . And so forth .
Cracked heels , wood-ash , nose-hairs and the immune system .
These have been linked for about 3 million years .
Shoes with heels for children can be directly linked to a host of auto-immune malfunctions .
Huddling close together in a small shelter every night encouraged parasites . Smoke discouraged them . The body learned to switch on antiparasite mechanisms over the course of 3 million years if smoke or smoke ash is present .
Since they slept with their hairy , cracked heels in the cooling ashes , this is where a major marker settled .
So , if you have asthma , try rubbing wood-ash into cracked heels .
Crack-pot and crack-heels makes for a nicely balanced system .
And now for Global Warming .
The planet is much more sensitive to variations in Pseudonomas syringae than to variations in CO2 .
Humans have slightly increased CO2, causing a small climate shift . This , together with pesticides and acid pollution have exposed large virgin plant populations to Pseudonomas syringae . This increased precipitation of rain and snow in the so-called moderate belts , while temperatures rise outside them (tropics and poles.)
I warned in previous posts that monkeying with Gaia's reserves will end in tears .
See http://andreswhy.blogspot.com "The Flower , the Dinosaur and Puff"
This is what is happening now . The predator on Pseudonomas syringae is probably a fungus of some sort . So quorum systems will also be upset . Expect massive die-offs for no apparent reason .
The temperate belts are freezing or flooding or both , while the surrounding polar and tropical zones become hotter . The temperature differences drive increasingly severe storms . Polar melting floods lower lying areas .
The process will stabilize once sufficient temperate areas have been reforested , or humans act to restore quorum balances . Fat chance .
If any humans survive , the planet will go back to the cycles of ice-ages .
If none survive , the planet will be slightly warmer with shallow seas and small or no ice-caps .
Isn't time travel wonderful ?