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Cloud formation: How feldspar acts as ice nucleus

In the atmosphere, feldspar particles act as ice nuclei that make ice crystals grow in clouds and enable precipitation. The reason was found with the help of electron microscopy observations and molecular dynamics computer modeling. The ice nucleus proper is a quasi-hidden crystal surface of the feldspar that is exposed at surface defects only. The researchers present their findings that are of major relevance to the understanding of cloud and precipitation formation in Science.

(via WSJ)