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Microbial Responses to Climate Change in Three Major Ecosystems

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Climate change is now generally accepted as humanity’s most serious contemporary challenge. According to a report released by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) , the situation has worsened, with 3.3 billion people globally vulnerable to climate change. This article looks at microbial responses to climate change in three major ecosystems, with a summary of research published in mBio . Image Credit: peterschreiber.media/Shutterstock.com

Microbes play an essential role in climate change. They consume and produce the three dominant gases—methane (CH 4 ), carbon dioxide (CO 2 ), and nitrous oxide (N 2 O)—responsible for 98% of the warming.

Microbes that produce and consume these gases live in various environments, each with its own spatial scales and processing times, making identification difficult. Terrestrial, oceanic, and urban ecosystems present individual assessment and management challenges. Improved measurements and models are essential for determining greenhouse gas (GHG) fluxes in these various systems.

Apart from their direct role with GHG, microbes with pathogenic ability respond to climate change by extending their ranges.

On November 5 th , 2021, the American Academy of Microbiology held a colloquium to discuss the changing relationship between microbes, climate change, and cascading effects. The authors were present at the colloquium. The […]

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