It isn’t greenhouse gases polluting the air in Detroit and Cleveland. It’s dog poop, or something like it. Yuck.
“We breathe in bacteria every minute we are outside, and some of these bugs may have potential health implications,” said study co-author Noah Fierer, an assistant professor at CU-Boulder.
He and his colleagues looked at the air in three locations in the Great Lakes region: Chicago, Cleveland and Detroit, all with populations of more than two million; and Mayville, Wis., with fewer than 6,000 residents.
“We found unexpectedly high bacterial diversity in all of our samples, but to our surprise the airborne bacterial communities of Detroit and Cleveland most closely resembled those communities found in dog poop,” said lead author Robert Bowers.
Weirder still is that the air samples were collected in the winter, when the ground was covered with snow.
Tip of the Hat to Story Balloon.