Navigation Links
Microbes as climate engineers
Date:1/29/2008

We might think we control the climate but unless we harness the powers of our microbial co-habitants on this planet we might be fighting a losing battle, according to an article in the February 2008 issue of Microbiology Today.

Humans are continually altering the atmosphere. Arrogant organisms that we are, it is easy to view this as something entirely novel in Earths history, says Dr Dave Reay from the University of Edinburgh. In truth of course, micro-organisms have been at it for billions of years.

Humans affect the atmosphere indirectly by their activities. Most human-induced methane comes from livestock, rice fields and landfill: in all of these places, microbes are actually responsible for producing the methane, 150 million tonnes a year. Microbes in wetlands produce an additional 100 million tonnes and those that live inside termites release 20 million tonnes of methane annually.

90 billion tonnes of carbon a year is absorbed from the atmosphere by the oceans, and almost as much is released; microbes play a key role in both. On land, a combination of primary production, respiration and microbial decomposition leads to the uptake of 120 billion tonnes of carbon every year and the release of 119 billion tonnes.

The impact of these microbially-controlled cycles on future climate warming is potentially huge, says Dr Reay. By better understanding these processes we could take more carbon out of the atmosphere using microbes on land and in the sea. Methane-eating bacteria can be used to catch methane that is released from landfill, Cyanobacteria could provide hydrogen fuel, and plankton have already become a feedstock for some biofuels.

Microbes will continue as climate engineers long after humans have burned that final barrel of oil. Whether they help us to avoid dangerous climate change in the 21st century or push us even faster towards it depends on just how well we understand them.


'/>"/>

Contact: Lucy Goodchild
l.goodchild@sgm.ac.uk
44-011-898-81843
Society for General Microbiology
Source:Eurekalert

Page: 1

Related medicine news :

1. Kaiser Permanente Achieves Climate Action Leader Status
2. Climate may increase heat-related deaths by 2050s, says Mailman School of PH study
3. Motivational coaching climate outscores winning for young athletes
4. APHA Adopts New Policies on Food Safety, Global Climate Change, Multidrug-Resistant Organisms, Breastfeeding and Feminine Hygiene
5. NABJ Joins with U.N. to Cover Climate Change and Development in Senegal
6. New study shows worlds protected areas threatened by climate change
7. Climate change, gender differences, health among EurekAlert! 10 Most Popular Stories in 2007
8. Engineers developing new cements to heal spinal fractures
9. SMRT Architects and Engineers Selected to Design New $115M Digital X-Ray Manufacturing Facility for GE Healthcare
10. Engineers use bloods hydrodynamics to manipulate stem, cancer cells
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:5/25/2016)... ... May 25, 2016 , ... DKT International, one of ... world, is pleased to release their 2015 global impact data. In 2015, DKT ... 14,000 maternal deaths and 3.8 million unsafe abortions across 21 countries worldwide. ...
(Date:5/25/2016)... ... May 25, 2016 , ... ... ranging from medical and pharmaceutical, to food and HVAC facilities. Their knowledgeable staff ... training. , For medical applications, Afrimesure offers a variety of MadgeTech systems ...
(Date:5/25/2016)... Vallarta, Mexico (PRWEB) , ... May 25, 2016 , ... ... surrounding the restorative properties of precious stones to complement its new wellness suites ... over two floors and feature a plethora of special services and insuite amenities, from ...
(Date:5/25/2016)... , ... May 25, 2016 , ... The University of ... and Health Professions. She will lead a team of more than 100 full-time faculty ... begin her role as dean in late August. , Baker comes to USF from ...
(Date:5/25/2016)... ... ... more than fifty years, we've suffered whiplash as each new scientific study seemed to contradict ... nutritional advice – advice that was supposed to keep us healthy and slim. And what ... are considered to be overweight and more than 1 in 3 adults are considered to ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:5/24/2016)... 24, 2016 Een app die ... zij collectief patiënten kunnen behandelen, hun kennis kunnen delen ... achter de nieuwe en revolutionaire MDLinking App, ontwikkeld door ... vaatchirurg dr. Hans Flu en oncologisch chirurg dr. ... beschikbaar is, wordt op dinsdag 24 mei officieel gepresenteerd ...
(Date:5/23/2016)... May 23, 2016 Transparency Market ... Exocrine Pancreatic Insufficiency Market - Global Industry Analysis, Size, ... According to the report, the exocrine pancreatic insufficiency market ... from 2015 to 2023 to reach US$2.85 Bn by ... condition characterized by the deficiency of the exocrine pancreatic ...
(Date:5/23/2016)... 23, 2016 Non-invasive diagnostic test ... multiple diseases; ,Technology to be presented at Yissum’s booth, ... Research Development Company of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem ... agreement with Aurum Ventures MKI, the technology investment arm of ... new diagnostic approach for early detection of multiple diseases ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: