U.S. Geological Survey - Microbiology
Microbes and their impact on the Earth's climate are studied to discover the role microbes play in climate change.
Climate Change Research Activities
Climate change will impact microbes, by potentially changing their habitats, providing different or increased metabolic sources and trigger changes in behavior or pathogenicity. Increased soil temperatures can cause increases in soil microbes and rates of metabolism potentially increasing carbon dioxide emissions. Warming soils may also reduce levels of moisture necessary for the survival of some microbes, while allowing others to flourish. In the aquatic environment, photosynthetic microbes or those that prefer warmer temperatures may trigger blooms. Cyanobacteria, often referred to as blue-green algae are increasingly blamed for fish kills and illnesses in humans through release of toxins during these blooms. Warming temperatures can allow pathogen carrying organisms such as insects and birds to colonize new areas and spread both wildlife and human disease.
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