Global warming pushes microbes into damaging climate feedback loops

by Bob Berwyn, Insideclimate News

All life on Earth evolved from microorganisms in the primordial slime, and billions of years later, the planet’s smallest life forms—including bacteria, plankton and viruses—are still fundamental to the biosphere. They cycle minerals and nutrients through soil, water and the atmosphere. They help grow and digest the food we eat. Without microbes, life as we know it wouldn’t exist.

Now, global warming is supercharging some microbial cycles on a scale big enough to trigger damaging climate feedback loops, research is showing. Bacteria are feasting on more organic material and produce extra carbon dioxide as the planet warms. In the Arctic, a spreading carpet of algae is soaking up more of the sun’s summer rays, speeding melting of the ice.

Deadly pathogenic microbes are also spreading poleward and upward in elevation, killing people, cattle and crops.

Read more: https://insideclimatenews.org/news/18062019/climate-change-tipping-points-microbes-health-soil-oceans-viruses-bacteria?utm_source=InsideClimate+News&utm_campaign=7412795b3a-&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_29c928ffb5-7412795b3a-327824881

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