Microbes in the Tundras Increase Emissions in Warming Climate
While many parts of the world are experiencing global warming in different ways, there is an overall rise in the Earth’s temperature. Both the planet’s ice-capped poles are melting, causing a sea-level rise. The increasing warmth in these regions is causing palpable changes in the animals and plants that live in these areas.
In a new study, researchers studying the Alaskan tundras said that global warming could cause microbes living in the soil of this region to release more greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide and methane. Considering that half the carbon in the world (twice as much as the carbon levels in the atmosphere) is stored under the planet’s frozen soil, the consequences of having all this carbon released into the atmosphere would be disastrous.
Microbes react quickly to slight changes like warming over the span of a few years.
The researchers found that microbial species and their genes involved in carbon dioxide and methane release increased their abundance in response to the warming climate. They were surprised to see a substantial response to even mild warming.